Manchester United defender Rafael could be set for a return to the first-team after he was left out of the U21s clash against Sunderland on Monday night.
The Brazilian started three consecutive games for the U21s, so his exclusion from Monday’s game points towards a call-up to the first-team again or potentially a new injury.
Rafael has fallen out of favour at Old Trafford after suffering an injury in the 2-0 win against Yeovil Town at the start of the year and has been unable to get back in the team.
The right-back made a full recovery but has not featured for the first-team since, instead playing for the club’s U21s.
Louis van Gaal has adopted a pragmatic approach during his spell in charge at United and it seems as if he doesn’t trust Rafael to perform defensively, either that or he simply hasn’t been fit enough.
It is a tough situation for Rafael but he has shown his determination in a United shirt before and will be looking to revive his career against Sunderland should van Gaal give him the opportunity.
The 24-year-old has become a fans’ favourite ever since his arrival with twin brother Fabio in 2008 and the majority of supporters would be delighted to see Rafael back in the starting XI.