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The 70-year-old boss admitted that the Brazil international had given him some "scary moments" with his decision-making in the past but praised his growing maturity at right-back

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has labelled defender Rafael the club's most improved player this season.

The 22-year-old has started 15 top flight matches for the Red Devils in the current campaign and the Scottish coach has hailed his growing maturity at right-back.

Sir Alex admitted that the Brazil international had given United some "scary moments" with his decision-making in the past but praised his recent progression.

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Rafael, whose twin brother Fabio is currently on loan at QPR, has chipped in with two goals from defence so far in 2012-13.

"The truly eye-catching improvement this season so far for me is the maturity that young Rafa has added to his game," Sir Alex told United Review.

"He has always shown himself as a defender with ability and great enthusiasm, but not always with great decision-making, especially in European football, giving him - and us - some scary moments.

"His performance against Queens Park Rangers [last month] was outstanding with his defensive work and attacking making his presence a key factor in our 3-1 win.

"I would have no hesitation saying that he is our most improved player this season with a couple of goals a reflection of his eagerness to lend a hand up front."

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