Solskjaer says he was disappointed when United let Rafael leave

Rafael da Silva was one of the star performers for Istanbul Basaksehir when the Turkish side beat Manchester United 2-1 a fortnight ago.

The Brazilian brought back memories of his displays for Sir Alex Ferguson’s title winning sides with a fully committed display from right-back.

Rafael is a player Solskjaer knows well, having helped him come through United’s reserves during his time as coach.

It was a surprise when Rafael was sold by Louis van Gaal in 2015. Solskjaer has told the club website he was disappointed to see him go.

Photo by Salih Zeki Fazlioglu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Solskjaer said: “It’s always good to see Rafa. He’s such a fantastic boy, but I want to see a smile on my face rather than his face after the game this time.”

“He’s a Red through and through. I was disappointed when we let him go because he’s such a valuable player and person to have in and around the group. He’s just one of those players with Man United DNA so he knows what we feel about him and what I feel about him.”

United fans felt the same way when Rafael left. It didn’t sit right that he was moved aside when he had so much more to offer. Solskjaer’s comments show also how he continued to follow the club as a fan during his time away from Old Trafford.

Solskjaer signed Rafael’s brother Fabio during his managerial stint at Cardiff.

Rafael spent five years at Lyon before his contract expired this past summer.

He has landed on his feet in Turkey and at the age of 30, still has plenty more to offer, as his performance against United this past weekend showed.

It will be an emotional night for him to return to Old Trafford tonight.

The real shame is that supporters will not be in attendance to give him the applause and reception he deserves.

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images
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