Lyon confirm four-year deal with Manchester United defender Rafael da Silva

by Sam Peoples

Olympique Lyonnais have signed Rafael da Silva from Manchester United on a four-year deal until 2019 for an undisclosed fee.

An official statement from Lyon confirms the 25-year-old will be unveiled later this week in a press conference.

The arrival of Matteo Darmian this summer from FC Torino was always considered a prelude to Rafael’s departure following a frustrating season for the Brazilian under Louis van Gaal where he played very little first-team football.

Although injury problems plagued his season, Antonio Valencia was still preferred at right-back by Van Gaal even when Rafael was fit despite being a natural winger.

Rafael leaves Man United having had a seven year career at Old Trafford in which he helped created some fantastic memories which included three Premier League titles.

There aren’t many players at the club who had such a strong rapport with the fans as Rafael did but leaving the club this summer was certainly the right thing for him to do for his own career.

He didn’t have a future under Van Gaal and as he is only 25, he still has so much time ahead of him to forge a strong career elsewhere.

His departure does leave United strikingly short at right-back once again as Darmian is now the only natural, senior right-back in Van Gaal’s first-team squad.

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