In Manchester United's official matchday programme -- United Review -- manager Sir Alex Ferguson revealed that defender Fabio would go out on loan next season. The Brazilian started last season's UEFA Champions League final versus FC Barcelona but since then, he has only appeared 15 times for United this season. In Premier League action, he has only started twice. Here is what the United boss had to say about the matter:
"I hope that Fabio will develop the same way as his twin [Rafael] and, to help him, he will go out on loan next season to give him concentrated first-team experience. I have already talked to him and he understands the value of playing regularly at a higher level than we can give him at the moment."
- Ferguson | Source: United Review
Along with twin brother Rafael, Fabio began his United career during the 2008-09 season. While the former has often been the first-choice right-back when fit, the latter has struggled to earn regular playing as he's mostly been a fringe first-team player. The move to send the 21-year-old out out on loan for regular first-team football makes sense but my initial concern is having adequate full-back depth, particularly at left-back. While Jonny Evans can fill-in there in an emergency, perhaps Zeki Fryers too, both are far from optimal options. Therefore, it wouldn't be surprising at all if Fergie already has somebody lined up to come in this summer that can play at left-back -- not necessarily someone to displace Patrice Evra (*), but someone who can play there or perhaps a young promising player. Fergie has been spotted watching LIlle matches as of late -- presumably to watch Eden Hazard -- but perhaps he's also keeping a close eye on promising 18-year-old left-back Lucas Digne.
(*) Although, he's clearly had an underwhelming season.
Fabio has shown obvious promise and it can easy to forget that he's only 21-years-old. Hopefully this loan is optimal for both his development and for United. There is a dearth of quality full-backs in the Premier League so it wouldn't be surprising to see him go out on loan somewhere in England. My guess is that there will be teams lining up for the Brazilian's services.