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LOAN REPORT: How has Fabio got on at QPR?

1. What did you think when you found out that Fabio was joining you on loan?
2. What has been his best performance?
3. Would you have held it against him if he celebrated that brilliant goal by his brother a few weeks ago?
4. How would you rate his loan period so far?
5. Do you think he has potential to make it at United?

QPR fan: Michael Hann (The Guardian)

1. To be honest, underwhelmed. Sir Alex Ferguson hasn’t earned his reputation by letting go of players who he thinks have a lot to offer, and the ones who’ve been loaned out and turned out to be excellent have tended to be at the start of their careers, whereas it feels asthough Fabio has been around since some time in the dark ages. If he were that good, wouldn’t he have actually proved it by now?

2. There haven’t been true standouts – but then you could say that about pretty much everyone in the QPR squad this season. He started with the air of a man who wasn’t sure what he was doing here – and there have been one or two reactions from him that haven’t endeared him to the fans. In one game, when subbed, he chose to walk laboriously all the way round the outside of the pitch rather than jog off. That said, since the new year he’s upped his game, and looked a lot more solid. We rather like him now.

3. Course I would. No one minds what he does behind closed doors, but if he’d been in the crowd celebrating a goal against Rangers, it wouldn’t have gone down well. Stretch your imagination to its outer limits, and pretend Anton Ferdinand might somehow have scored against you. How would you have felt if Rio celebrated? There’s your answer.

4. As above – a loan period of two halves. A slow start, an improved second half.

5. If he did, I don’t think he would have been loaned out having been at Old Trafford since 2008. He’s played nearly as many games in seven months with us as he has in four years with you. That’s got to be telling.

QPR fan: Charles Lawley (Bleacher Report)

1. In all honesty, I was quite pessimistic, we’d just got shut of a very unsuccessful Manchester United loan player in Federicho Macheda (I’m not saying he’s a bad player, I’m just saying at QPR he didn’t successfully control the ball once – he seemingly couldn’t trap a bag of cement) and, from what I was aware of Fabio, I thought he was a midfielder masquerading as full back – good speed, good delivery but no defensive nouse about him. And we already had Armand Traore for that.

2. Under Hughes, his performances didn’t set the world alight, but Redknapp seems to have been getting the best out of him. He looks even better when you compare his performances to our other full back, the world’s least deserving Champions League medal winner, Jose Bosingwa, who only started giving a shit that we were bottom of the table with 10 games to go. I’d go so far to say that since January, Fabio hasn’t put a foot wrong. Either the 3-1 win against Sunderland or the 1-0 against Chelsea has been his best showings.

3. If he celebrated the opposition scoring? Yeah, a little bit.

4. Really well. I’m not going to hold the Hughes months against him as there wasn’t much/anything going right during that time and he had a few problems with injuries. And Hughes couldn’t motivate a teenager on speed. Would happily have him at QPR long term, if he fancies a year of travelling to Barnsley and Huddersfield.

5. That Buttner lad you have seems decent, I think the only thing that will keep him there is his brother. In Manchester United language, he’ll forever be the Phil to Rafael’s Gary. Can see him being an understudy for a few years then moving on. Then again, I could be wrong, in terms of your left backs I always rated Heinze above Evra, but Ferguson didn’t and he probably knows more about it than me.

QPR fan: Gerry Murray

1. I was 50/50 when he joined. He clearly had talent, but my worry was we’re just getting another Armand Traore. QPR probably have the smallest pitch in the premier league so we never have the opportunity to play with a great deal of width. A young full back with the potential to get forward is always going to struggle to show their full potential when they’re restricted in half their games.

2. We haven’t had too many good games this season so it’s been tough to shine! Probably Chelsea where we won 1-0 and the whole team defended excellently given the opposition, but he did well against Lennon when we got a 0-0 against Spurs too.

3. I wouldn’t have held it against him, but I would have thought it pretty stupid. We’re deep in trouble and desperate for points so he’d have heaped pressure on himself for the rest of the season if he was seen to ‘not really care.’ One sloppy performance after that and he’d have been crucified. I don’t mind him mentioning it in the press after, but jumping up when it went in would have been a bit different. I think he dealt with it the right way.

4. I’d rate it a 6/10. He’s been sloppy at times with his passing and made a few mistakes, but that’s what you get with a young inexperienced player who needs games. In a better side he’ll probably show more going forward. He’s been chucked in at the deep end with our back 4 this season so it’ll help him in the long run… He’s certainly got his practice in defending!

5. I doubt it regular first team, but maybe if he’s happy to stay as a squad player. He’s decent and could
mature like Rafael has if he got a run, but if I compare him to Kyle Walker when we had him on loan a few years back, there’s no comparison. United look like they’ve decided Rafael is the better of the two and Fergie’s unlikely to carry 2 full backs with a mistake in them for big games.

QPR fan: Nate Thompson

1. Tidy player, obviously has something about him, concerned at his suitability for a relegation fight which, despite some predicting a mid table finish, we were more likely to be involved in.

2. Sunderland at home most likely (3-1). He’s not been bad, pretty consistent, especially since Redknapp came in, the defence has improved and he is a part of that. I find it hard to rate him as a player playing in such a dysfunctional team.

3. This is a joke, right?

4. He’s done alright, but as stated before, the team has been atrocious so often, I personally find it difficult judge it objectively.

5. No. Probably not. The other kid is decent, but not sure this lad has enough for the top level. He’ll probably end up at Sunderland with the rest of them.

QPR fan: Mark O’Haire (Sporting Bet)

1. The first thing I thought about Fabio’s signing was, ‘We’ve signed the wrong Da Silva from Man Utd’. No, on a serious note I hadn’t seen a huge amount of him compared to his brother. We were hopeful we’d have signed a player with the potential to reach Rafael’s standard with the hunger and drive to prove himself as a Premier League player. We already had Armand Traore at left-back but he’d been a model of inconsistency so the left-back position was up for grabs.

2. He had a rough opening half of the season (as did most the team under Hughes) but performances since the New Year and getting back to full fitness have been full of promise. If I had to pick one, it would be the 1-0 away win at Chelsea. All 11 players were absolutely astounding but Fabio showed assurance and maturity on the left. He attacked responsibly, used his energy and speed effectively and showed none of his defensive naivety which dogged his game earlier in the season.

3. Tough question to answer. In the spur of the moment I would have probably given him a bit of stick, yes. But in hindsight and looking back, no. I’d like to think I’m a mature football fan but you do hope and expect your players to remain professional on the pitch – no fan would like to see their own players cheer/celebrate an opposition goal.

4. A slow-burner. He’s clearly a talented footballer with plenty of potential and he’s improved massively as the season has come on. He’s exciting to watch but needs to mature a little – he takes after his brother a little in getting a bit too upset when decisions go against him. He’ll often leave the team misshapen if he gives the ball away and then goes tearing off after it but it’s hard to criticise when you see a player so eager to make amends for an error.

5. I certainly think he’ll be knocking at the door next season. He’s probably a year behind his brother in terms of development but hopefully this season has been of benefit. It’s been a difficult season but as I’ve said, there’s plenty of positives and it’s nice to see the improvement in his game. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him playing first-team football at United next season and perhaps a first-choice left-back in the coming 24 months.


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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55 Comments

  1. lordrt says:

    Unfortunately he looks like one of those young players United has loaned out, then sold to smaller clubs due to them not fitting in the team.

  2. samuel - united WE stand says:

    And how exactly does he look like that? Do you even know who fabio is let alone be aware of what will happen to him?

  3. diablored says:

    Bebe vs Ashley Young??? I leav it to you. For me 1 is younger, faster and has the potential to up the level, whereas the other is an older, mo expensive 1trick pony, whom I cnt see changing much this late into his career. Bebe may be rough around the edges but none of our wingers this season have playd that well either. Out: Valencia n Young
    In: Zaha, Bebe and ?
    Result: our Strikers score more goals…simple

  4. MansionOfTheReds says:

    In all honesty, his loan o QPR has helped Rafael more than himself. It would have been tough on Rafa to get on with improving while his brother was at the same team getting no gameplay and being injured constantly. Now he can focus on his own game. But im looking forward to abio coming back as a good player. I dont rate buttner much as a defender, i think he might be better as a winger, but thats another topic. If we do eventually have rasfal and fabio as both wing backs it will be a fine sight to watch. Lets hope he does justice to his potential

  5. plassen says:

    “Hughes couldn’t motivate a teenager on speed.”

    LOL

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