Fabio Deserves Another Chance at Manchester United
Like all of his Manchester United teammates, Fabio must impress a new manager this season.
But for the Brazilian full-back, there is much more at stake.
If the 23-year-old doesn't win over David Moyes quickly, he might have to look for a new club. Out of a contract at Old Trafford at the end of the season, Fabio has nine months—probably less—to win a new deal.
The early signs haven't been good.
He's figured in just one of Moyes' squads so far this season—on opening day against Swansea—and didn't get on the pitch.
In addition to that, he saw his new manager bid for both Leighton Baines and Fabio Coentrao during the transfer window. Those moves hardly screamed confidence in the left-backs Moyes inherited—Evra, Fabio and Alexander Buttner.
Does Fabio deserve a new contract at Man United?
It also capped a miserable 12 months.
Loaned out to QPR last season to gain valuable first-team experience in the Premier League, Fabio ended up being a bit part in a side that was relegated. Injuries and a change of manager didn't help, but he made just 13 starts in the league.
Back at Old Trafford, twin brother Rafael had his best season for United, becoming the first-choice right-back and collecting a title-winners' medal in May.
It's going to be an anxious season for Fabio.
With Evra and Buttner as competition at left-back and Rafael, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and even Antonio Valencia in his way at right-back, he'll have limited opportunities to make his mark.
But even if he doesn't fight his way into Moyes' plans this season, letting him go at the end of his contract would be a mistake.
Only 23 and already a full international, he deserves another chance.
He hasn't developed as quickly as his brother, who has become so much more composed that the rash challenges that would make fans wince are almost a thing of the past.
Nevertheless, the raw talent—the pace, unrelenting energy and fearless tackling—is there. Those traits are desirable building blocks when you're looking to create a footballer.
As a teenager, Fabio was one of the stars of the 2007 Under-17 World Cup—a list which also included Toni Kroos, Bojan Krkic and Danny Welbeck.
It's also often forgotten that he started the 2011 Champions League final at Wembley, when United were beaten 3-1 by Barcelona.
With a new contract in his pocket, he can reach those heights again.
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