Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs has spoken of how much young Brazilian defender Rafael is maturing and improving on the pitch, despite a recent sending off at White Hart Lane.
The right-back returns to the United squad for the trip to Bloomfield Road on Tuesday night, Giggs' first trip to the stadium in his 21-year career, and the Welshman has been very complimentary about the enthusiastic full-back.
"Rafael has come on in leaps and bounds over the last few months," Giggs told the club's official website.
"I have seen a massive improvement, not only in the way he plays but within him as a person.
"I come up against him in a lot of training sessions because we play in opposite positions and I have seen the maturity develop over the last three or four months.
"If he keeps developing he is going to be a brilliant player."
Giggs, now 37, has never played a competitive game against the Seasiders but is looking forward to the new experience.
“It is a good thing for us going to a new ground,” he said.
“It’s a new experience, it’ll be a tight, compact ground. It’ll be loud. United are coming to town, so everyone will be up for it – players, fans. It’ll be a battle and it’ll be tough.
"As a player, you want challenges like that. It makes it all the more satisfying if you come out on top.”