Former Manchester United star Rafael da Silva has heaped praise on the Red Devils, wishing them well for the upcoming season.

During a recent interview with The Athletic, former Red Devil Rafael da Silva has voiced his optimism about Manchester United in the upcoming season. The Brazilian right-back thinks that the Premier League giants are better than ever and are in a position to mount a title challenge in the 2021/22 campaign, reports Stretty News.

A product of the Fluminense youth academy, Rafael played for Manchester United between 2008 to 2015. Unfortunately, he was unable to establish himself as a first-team regular for the club despite mustering 170 competitive appearances for the club. He ultimately left Old Trafford in 2015, joining Lyon for just €3.2 million.

The right-back currently plays for Istanbul Basaksehir in Turkey, but that has not stopped him from following Manchester United. He was notably in the starting lineup twice when the Turkish outfit played against his former club in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League season, even beating the Red Devils at Old Trafford.

But speaking to The Athletic, the defender confessed he is optimistic about the new season, especially after the arrival of Jadon Sancho and most recently, Raphael Varane.

Both the newcomers have enjoyed a lot of attention since arriving at Old Trafford, with Patrice Evra even comparing Varane to Rio Ferdinand. For Rafael, though, it is a team sport and the Brazilian was rather quick to point out the collective strength of the team at the moment.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer & co. have been backed for success in the upcoming season. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer & co. have been backed for success in the upcoming season. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Speaking to the Athletic, he said, “They grew last season. If you cannot see that United are not better than before, you are not watching the same sport as me. And I hope they lift this trophy (Premier League) because I love Manchester United and I love Ole, too.”

Rafael’s comments about Ole suggests that the player certainly favours the Norwegian tactician as the head coach. He may not have felt the same about Louis van Gaal, whose ignorance led to the downfall of the 31-year-old, who is currently looking forward to the new season with Istanbul Basaksehir.

His team disappointingly achieved a mid-table finish in the Turkish Super Lig last season. But he will be keen on righting the wrongs as he looks to earn his first silverware since the Premier League title in 2013.

It was also the last league triumph for Manchester United, but as it appears, Rafael is firm in his belief that the Red Devils can bounce back and challenge for silverware in the upcoming season.

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