Last season’s forgotten man has already made an impact this season, as who should be the man to score Manchester United’s equaliser against Ajax Cape Town this afternoon but Bebe.
The last three years have a tough ride for the Portuguese youngster. First in 2009 he was signed by Portuguese Second Division side Estrela de Amadora from amateur side Loures before signing for Guimrães a year later.
Only weeks into his deal with the top-flight club Bebe - after scoring five times in six friendly matches - was surprisingly signed for a deal reported to be around £7.4 million to bring him to Old Trafford. It was one of the biggest transfer shocks in recent memory.
Given the #33 shirt, a lot of attention was brought to the fee to bring Bebe to United and whether or not a player completely unknown to fans and pundits in Portugal yet alone Europe could step up to the plate and make an impact in the Premier League.
Of course it was always going to take Bebe time to get used to life playing at arguably the biggest club in the world yet alone get used to living in England away from his family and friends. To his credit he made an impact in the first-half of the 2010/11 season scoring twice, a strike against Wolves in the Carling Cup and one away in a 3-0 win over Turkish side Bursaspor in the Champions League.
Winter then came calling and Bebe expectantly saw little action as the season clicked into gear. His last taste of first-team action came in United’s 1-0 victory over Conference side Crawley Town in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Without being too negative about his performance, he looked sluggish but to his credit he kept going for the full 90 minutes and did just about enough on the day to justify his inclusion in the startling line-up as Crawley to their credit gave us a fright.
Last season however didn’t go to plan at all for Bebe. Already there were talks that he would be released back to a Portuguese side and then when he was sent out initially on a season long-loan to Turkish giants Besiktas, there were claims that being sent out on loan was a nicer way to delay getting rid of him.
Of course as we know Bebe suffered a cruciate ligament injury suffered whilst on duty for Portugal’s Under-21 side which in effect wrote off his season. He did return to the side in March but only made 4 appearances before returning to Manchester this summer.
That brings us nicely to the present. Included in United’s pre-season tour squad, Today Bebe scored United’s equaliser late-on against South African side Ajax Cape Town.
The song Amazing Grace contains the following line:
‘I once was lost but now am found’
That line may sum up what that goal has meant for Bebe, it will do his confidence the world of good. It’s now up to him to press for a place in the squad and truly discover whether he can find a place in the first-team squad at United.
By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87