Jonny Evans hails Rafael da Silva's development

Robin Van Persie, Rafael Da Silva
© PA Photos
Manchester United's Jonny Evans concedes that Rafael da Silva's displays over the last few months have left him impressed.

Jonny Evans has admitted that he has been impressed by the performances of his Manchester United teammate Rafael da Silva this season.

Brazilian full-back Rafael had previously struggled to hold down a regular starting role in the United starting lineup following his arrival from Fluminense in 2008.

However, the 22-year-old has become a key member of the United side this season and has managed to catch Evans's eye during his 26 outings in all competitions.

"I actually think Rafael has done really well. He has shown real maturity. His brother has gone out on loan now and it's probably given him a lot more responsibility," Evans told Inside United. "Because of the injuries, too, there hasn't been much competition for him at right-back so he has really stepped into the position and made it his own.

"Rafael is a lot younger than me but he stepped into the first team probably in the same season I did. We both made our breakthrough seasons in that same year. He probably played about 30 games that season, which is incredible for a young player.

"Even back then you knew he was going to be a fantastic player. He has been for a number of years. Some people have criticised his all action style, but I think he has managed to find the right balance now and he's become, I think, one of the best full-backs in the world."

Despite being a defender, Rafael has contributed two goals during the current campaign.

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