What does Rafael’s injury mean for Man United?
Brazilian right back Rafael da Silva could miss the start of the season for Manchester United, who are 5/1 to win the Premier League title.
Da Silva suffered the injury in training, ahead of the club’s second pre-season friendly against Roma on their tour of the USA. Antonio Valencia took his place at right wing back, in Louis van Gaal’s 5-3-2 formation that he wants to implement at Old Trafford for the foreseeable future, with Ashley Young taking over in the second half.
However, going forward it presents a problem for the Dutch coach. Does he keep faith with Valencia, or make a swoop in the transfer market, with Ed Woodward and the board prepared to back him to the tune of around £200m.
The options are to sign a right back who can move forward, or a right winger who can drop back, though is still afforded the freedom to attack.
Coral review a few potential replacements that could fill the void.
Although not a like-for-like replacement for Da Silva, Valencia will put a shift in. Very hard-working, with boundless energy the Ecuadorian is also an accomplished crosser of the ball. However, as he displayed at the World Cup, he is prone to lose his temper and fly into tackles.
Any move for the Everton right back, who was arguably the Toffees’ most consistent player last term would cost upwards of £20m. Ideally the Merseyside outfit would like to keep the Republic of Ireland international, however they are keen to sign Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku permanently, and it is rumoured they have been quoted a fee of £18m. If a bid in the region of £20m for Coleman is submitted, the board may decide that this can be used to buy the Belgian striker.
One of the more positives to come from Italy’s World Cup campaign, Darmian was largely impressive. Although the Torino player featured in a back four, he displayed his buccaneering attacking talents, and also showed he is a tenacious tackler. At the minute, Darmian is yet to be linked anywhere, and could be a bargain buy for Man United, should he come into Van Gaal’s thoughts…