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Manchester United: Do not be fooled by the Bebe at Rio Ave hype

While he certainly had a good start with the club recently his and the teams form have dipped and surely his long-term future is not with Manchester United.

When Manchester United signed Portuguese forward Bebe for £7.2 million in 2010 it was a truly sensational transfer; not least because Sir Alex Ferguson had to admit he had never seen him play and his transfer was at the recommendation of Carlos Quieroz. The same Quieroz who reportedly ‘discovered’ the likes of Luis Figo, Rui Costa, Fernando Couto, Jorge Costa, Joaoa Pinto, Vitor Baia and Cristiano Ronaldo; so you can understand taking his advice.

However Bebe never looked like making the grade with the club and a loan-spell with Besiktas ended in injury and discipline nightmare.

With the writing on the wall for his United career things took a dramatic turn in pre-season when the 22-year-old caught the eye with a number of head-turning performances.

With that in mind United were keen for him to play more regular first-team football and he was loaned out to Rio Ave in January.

What happened next was the dream start for the lad. He scored the winning goal on his full debut against Maritimo in the Portuguese Cup.

That was the tale for the early part of his time at Rio Ave. He looked impressive; scored once again in a league tie with Academica in February and looked to be in top form with his pace, dribbling ability and direct attitude looking a threat.

Recently however things have not been so rosy for the Manchester United player and those attempting to convince themselves or United fans that he might have a chance in the first-team at the club may just be wrong.

In the last few weeks his playing time has dropped significantly as his inability to track back has caused numerous problems for the team. On top of that his famously woeful crossing ability has not improved one bit and the fact he has not played 90 minutes of football since January tells you all you need to know about his fitness levels.

With his dip in form has also come a dip for Rio Ave; once looking dead certs for Europa League qualification their win against Vitoria Setubal last Sunday was their first in eight games stretching back to February.

Now the club sit eighth in the table struggling to keep pace with Sporting Lisbon, Maritimo and Estoril in pursuit of European football; defeat against third placed Pacos de Ferreira this weekend will almost end any hopes of securing a famous European campaign for the club.

So while Bebe has not been bad for Rio Ave, in fact you could go as far as to say he has been good, there is little to show he has the capability to be a regular in the first team at Old Trafford.

His future surely lays elsewhere.

image: © Andrea Sartorati

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