Neville names ‘perfect’ defender that Man Utd sold

Date published: Friday 3rd May 2019 9:47

Gary Neville Manchester United

Gary Neville thinks Manchester United had a “perfect” full-back in the form of Rafael da Silva before he was sold by former boss Louis van Gaal.

Rafael, who arrived with his brother Fabio at United in 2008 from Brazilian outfit Fluminense, was sold to Ligue 1 side Lyon only a year after Van Gaal arrived at Old Trafford.

The Brazilian had been a loyal servant to the club since his arrival, but was unceremoniously dropped from the first team in Van Gaal’s first season and sold the subsequent summer.

And Neville reckons that the Red Devils should have held onto him considering their current problems at full-back.

“I thought when I left that Rafael Da Silva was perfect as a Manchester United full-back,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“He was tenacious, aggressive, decent on the ball, and he was sold. Maybe rightly so, I’m not sure.”

On United’s struggles at right-back, Neville added: “Ashley Young is not the person to start criticising at Manchester United; he’s been asked to play right back, left back, left wing back, right wing back.

“He’s doing it brilliantly well, but he’s not a right back! I think Antonio Valencia did well for two seasons but I think he was more of a right winger.

“I don’t know why United have had such problems at right-back. You can’t keep signing full-backs for £15m.

“Over the past few years they’ve spent nearly £100m on five full-backs.

“City spent big on Kyle Walker, Danilo and Benjamin Mendy. Maybe United would be better buying the correct full-back first time up for £40m or £50m and have them for seven years, because it’s cost them that much in the end trying different full-backs!”


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