Bebe has gone down in Manchester United folklore, even if the Portuguese forward made just seven first-team appearances after his unexpected £7.4million transfer.
It was quickly discovered that Bebe was not so much an unpolished gem as a project in need of considerable work, and it took years before he showed what he was capable of – during a loan spell at Pacos de Ferreira in which time he scored 14 goals and was tipped for a World Cup call-up.
The latter did not happen, but Bebe’s form did lead to a £2.4million permanent move from United to Portuguese champions Benfica.
Last season Bebe generated plenty of headlines and garnered appreciation rather than mockery.
The player fans and pundits alike had branded a “flop” was finally receiving praise and at just 24 he had plenty of time to prove any remaining doubters wrong.
So how is his first year at Benfica going? How many goals has Bebe added to the 14 he netted last season?
The truth is things are not going well…at least for now. Since his summer move Bebe has made just four appearances for his new club and he is yet to score or provide an assist. He has also started just one match – in the Taca de Portugal against Covilha.
That game aside he has featured for just 38 minutes this campaign, and is yet to play in the league despite making 27 appearances in that competition for Pacos.
It was his fine Primeira Liga form that prompted his move to the reigning champions, but he watched the first five league games of this campaign from the bench and he has not been included in the match-day squad for the last six.
Bebe is not injured; it seems his manager Jorge Jesus simply has not been convinced the player should feature, and as such any momentum he built up last year has been swiftly lost.
When you consider the players at Benfica’s disposal it was always going to be tough for the former United man to feature regularly, but few would have expected him to play so sporadically.
It is another chapter in the always interesting story of a player we cannot help but keep a very close eye on.