Were we too quick to judge Manchester United’s £7.4m ‘flop’?

Bebe

Manchester United fans may have already made up their mind about Bebe, but does his form this season suggest he deserves another chance?

That is what Portuguese forward Bebe was termed soon after his arrival at Manchester United in 2010.

In possibly the most surprising transfer ever to go through at Old Trafford, Sir Alex Ferguson paid a reported £7.4million for a young man he had never seen play live, a 20-year-old who was also said to be on the radar of Real Madrid.

It could have been a masterstroke, but when Bebe first pulled on a United shirt he looked like a fish out of water.

He was fast. Lightening quick, in fact. But he rarely had an effective end product, his shots more often than not flying high or wide but rarely handsome and his crosses regularly over-hit.

His cameos in a United shirt led to him quickly branded as a waste of money, and he would later begin a series of loan moves that saw him play for Besiktas, Rio Ave and Pacos de Ferreira.

His spell in Turkey was blighted by serious injury, while his spell at Rio Ave saw more games but no real impact.

But at Pacos de Ferreira the now-23-year-old is beginning to show on a regular basis what Carlos Queiroz is said to have seen all those years ago.

His brace at the weekend took his goal-tally for the season to nine. He has also scored four times in his last four matches, a record that has prompted him to say he hopes for a future at Old Trafford.

In quotes published by A Bola, Bebe said, “I still hope to return to Manchester United, but nobody from the club has spoken to me.

“I am in good form and I hope to remain this way.”

He certainly is, and it is worth remembering that he arrived at United as a 20-year-old with quite a history. As a result it was always going to take him time to settle at one of the biggest clubs in the world; this unknown player suddenly thrust into a spotlight his teammates were well used to.

With a year left on his current United contract, he will still have to go some to convince David Moyes to offer him an extension. But he has shown that he can be a success in the Portuguese top-flight, so why not one last chance to prove himself at the club that changed his life forever.

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