Benfica boss: Manchester United misfit Bebe can emulate this Chelsea star

Benfica boss Jorge Jesus maintains that Bebe is a 'late bloomer' whose permanent return to Portugal will see him go on to replicate the development Nemanja Matic underwent at the club.

Benfica manager Jorge Jesus believes former Manchester United misfit Bebe can replicate Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic in fulfilling his potential at the Estadio da Luz.

Sir Alex Ferguson splashed out £7.4 million to bring Bebe to United in August 2010, but the Portuguese winger would go on to make just seven appearances during his debut campaign, before spending the next three seasons out on loan at Besiktas, Rio Ave and Pacos de Ferreira.

An impressive spell with the latter last term was enough to convince Benfica to take a €3 million chance on the out-of-favour attacker, but he since seen just 16 minutes of action in the 2014 Supercup.

Nevertheless, at the age of 24, Jesus insists that Bebe still has a great deal of potential to fulfil, and believes his return to Portugal on a permanent basis will see him get his career back on track.

‘Tiago [Bebe] never experienced youth development,’ he told Record.

‘He was introduced to football late and he lost a lot of time in England. Tiago's development will be equal to [Benfica attacking midfielder] Talisca's, Matic's and [Benfica central midfielder] Andre Gomes.

‘They were all late bloomers.’

Signed from Slovakian outfit Kosice for around £1.5 million in August 2009, aged 19, Matic made just three senior appearances during his first Chelsea spell, before leaving for Benfica in 2011 as a make-weight in the deal which saw David Luiz move in the opposite direction.

His excellent form in Portugal, however, prompted Jose Mourinho to bring him back to the club last winter for a fee of more than £20 million, with the Serbian international since going on to establish himself as one of the top holding midfielders in the game.

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