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Rafael and Fabio Fail David Moyes' Manchester United Mission

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 18:  Fabio Da Silva (L) and Rafael Da Silva during the Barclays Premier League Match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at Molineux on March 18, 2012 in Wolverhampton, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images
Robbie BlakeleySpecial to Bleacher ReportDecember 27, 2016

David Moyes' tenure as Manchester United manager took a fresh turn for the worse on Sunday after a 94th minute Darren Bent header denied the Red Devils victory against Fulham.

It has long been expected that the Scot is planning a large overhaul of the squad he inherited from Sir Alex Ferguson, as reported by David Lynch of the Manchester Evening News. At the end of the January transfer window, flop midfielder Anderson joined Italian outfit Fiorentina, whilst left-back Fabio da Silva teamed up with former United forward Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Cardiff City.

His twin brother, Rafael, could well continue the Brazilian exodus once this nightmare of a season is over for the Old Trafford faithful, and Moyes can fully assess his options.

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01:  David Moyes of Manchester United shows his dissapointment as his side lose the Barclays premier League match between Stoke City and Manchester United at Britannia Stadium on February 1, 2014 in Stoke on Trent, Engla
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

But should Rafael be shown the exit door, it would not only profoundly confirm that Ferguson's South American experiment failed to reap rewards, it would be a disheartening fall from grace for the twins from Rio de Janeiro.

Tipped as the long-term successors to full-backs Gary Neville and Patrice Evra, Rafael has been the more consistent performer in the famous red shirt.

Neville's horrific run of injuries at the back end of his career paved the way for Rafael in the first team. And when integrated into the starting XI it looked a smooth transition, a man fresh and hungry to accept the challenge of performing week in, week out for one of the biggest clubs on the planet.

This season, he is not alone in looking as though he has felt keenly Ferguson's absence, the 23-year-old has at times played like a different player altogether under Moyes.

Rafael can, on important occasions and in big games, lose his head. His undoubted talent has been there for people to witness for six years.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Marco Fabian of Mexico (L) competes for the ball with Rafael of Brazil during the Men's Football Final between Brazil and Mexico on Day 15 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium on August 11, 2012 in London, Engla
Julian Finney/Getty Images

But his temperament may have cost him a place at the high table, in both club and international football. Last month, a Samuel Eto'o hat-trick sunk United 3-1 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Nemanja Vidic saw red but the Brazilian right-back could easily have joined him for an early shower. He lunged himself, double-footed, at Gary Cahill, fortunately managing to take the ball rather than the standing leg.

His less-than-cool nature has also served against him with the Brazilian national side. In 2012 Brazil were in pursuit of the one major title to elude them; the Olympic gold medal.

The Selecao reached the final at Wembley where they took on a strong Mexico side. Nevertheless, Brazil were considered favourites to finally lay their hands on the prize.

The final was just 28 seconds old when Rafael attempted a pass to Romulo. The ball was horribly under hit, allowing Oribe Perlata to nip in, leap on the loose ball and give the Mexicans the lead.

Brazil never recovered from that disastrous opening and lost 2-1. Current coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has preferred to rely on the more experienced pair of Daniel Alves and Maicon for the right-back position.

Assuming there are no injuries, Rafael's chances of appearing at his first World Cup are zero.

CARDIFF, WALES - FEBRUARY 01:  Fabio da Silva of Cardiff in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Cardiff City and Norwich City at Cardiff City Stadium on February 1, 2014 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)
Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Fabio was given less of an opportunity at Old Trafford. Patrice Evra has been one of the club's most consistent performers for nigh-on a decade and the Brazilian never managed to dislodge his more experienced rival.

Yet with Evra's exit apparently imminent, as reported by Jack de Menezes of The Independent, the 2014/15 season may have finally been Fabio's chance to make the No. 3 shirt his own.

But Alexander Buttner had moved ahead of him and Fabio has moved on to Cardiff City as he joins the Welsh club's bid to stay in the top flight.

Having spent the previous season on loan at Queens Park Rangers, it may have been that Ferguson was preparing the twice capped Brazil international for first-team duties on a greater stage.

Moyes had other ideas and has sent Fabio packing without giving him the chance to stake a claim for a first-team slot.

Rafael has put up a sterner resistance. During the first half against Fulham he ploughed forward at will, ably assisting Juan Mata down the right flank and sending in aerial service for Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie.

Henry Winter wrote in today's Daily Telegraph that Moyes needs news ideas to freshen up the side. Whilst many issues may surround trying to squeeze Mata, Rooney and Van Persie into the same attack, new full-backs will probably be part of a summer shopping spree.




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