Rafael da Silva

West Ham Opinion: Why the Hammers should sign Rafael da Silva from Lyon

According to a report from French news outlet Foot01, West Ham are interested in snapping up Lyon right-back Rafael Da Silva on a free transfer this summer.

The Brazilian, 28, will become a free agent in the summer once his current contract with Lyon expires, thus potentially turning into a low-cost option at right-back. That should make Rafael’s signing a no-brainer for West Ham as Manuel Pellegrini looks forward to replace Pablo Zabaleta.

Zabaleta, 34, has made 23 Premier League appearances this term, and has been Manuel Pellegrini’s side’s first choice in defence this term, despite West Ham signing Ryan Fredericks from Fulham last summer. But the right-back has shown signs of ageing and struggled badly in the Hammers’ 2-0 defeat against Everton last weekend.

zabaleta

And Zabaleta’s contract expires at the end of this campaign, so West Ham will need a replacement for the Argentine in the summer. Plus, even though Fredericks has been impressive lately, he will need competition at right-back from next season if the Hammers opt against renewing Zabaleta’s deal.

Rafael could be seen as a perfect replacement to the ageing Zabaleta and will also add competition to Fredericks at the right-back position. The 28-year-old spent seven seasons at Manchester United with his twin brother, Fabio da Silva.

After making his debut for United back in 2008, he went onto make 169 appearances, winning three Premier League trophies. The Brazilian became a firm favourite at Old Trafford for his aggression and passion, enjoying plenty of success under the great Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Petropolis-born star joined Lyon in 2015 and has made close to 120 appearances for the French outfit. Rafael has done very well in Ligue 1 but as his contract is set to expire in the summer, a move back to English football could be a tempting proposition for him.

rafael da silva lyon

The two-cap Brazil international is a speedy, energetic and committed right-back whose overlapping runs and crossing abilities would be of massive help for West Ham. A top tackler, the 28-year-old is a good reader of the game and despite possessing a diminutive frame, he can handle the physical aspect of the Premier League.

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Plus, Rafael would bring in valuable experience to Pellegrini’s defence and compete with Fredericks for a place in the team.

Verdict

Without any second thoughts, Rafael would be a fantastic addition to West Ham’s squad his previous experience in the Premier League will be a huge asset. The 28-year-old’s availability on a free in the summer adds more value to his name, making him a priority signing for Pellegrini.

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