Rafael performance highlights one of Woodward's worst sales

Rio Ferdinand had a strong view after seeing Rafael da Silva’s performance against Manchester United.

He said United should never have sold the popular Brazilian – who played a big part in Istanbul Basaksehir’s 2-1 victory.

Rafael was sold back in 2015 by Louis van Gaal, who had his own plans for the right-back position.

Van Gaal signed Matteo Darmian, wishing to bring in his own man, and Rafael was deemed surplus to requirements.


Now, whatever you thought of the decision to let Rafael leave at the time, and even now, one thing which cannot be disputed is that United got a very poor deal.

Remarkably, United sold Rafael for a paltry fee of just £2 million.

It was a low fee, almost insulting towards Rafael and the fans who had watched him play, and have a key part in three Premier League title wins.

Rafael went on to spend five seasons at Lyon, in which he made more than 130 appearances.

Even now at the age of 30, he is considered a Champions League quality player, and he proved why.

United have got better at negotiating exits

The £2 million sale should go down as one of Ed Woodward’s worst pieces of business on the outgoing side.

At a three time league winner at 25, Rafael was worth far more than £2 million.

It came around the same time that United sold Robin van Persie for a low fee of £3.8 million.

Photo by Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images

United thankfully have got a bit better at negotiating fees, although there is a case the club have gone too far the other way and are holding onto players who should be sold.

Chris Smalling was sold for £13 million going up to £18 million this summer, while United got a full £70 million for Romelu Lukaku the year prior.

Yet every now and then you get reminded of just how terribly Ed Woodward has run the club over the past seven years.

It is nice to see Rafael has still got it, and can play at a high level. It was a shame it came at United’s expense.

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