Last week of course news broke that Bebe would be going out on loan next season to Besiktas, the reigning Turkish Cup winners, in an attempt to get more experience and improve as a player.
Of course it’s hoped that the youngster goes out on loan, gets games under his belt and comes back to Old Trafford as a better player. But even this early into his Manchester United career, lots of fans doubt whether there’s ‘anything’ to improve with poor Bebe.
My question to United fans is this – Is Bebe really that bad, that we’ve written him off before he really even gets a chance to prove himself?
Yes we as fans are right to make judgements on players and voice our opinions on them. However is Bebe really that bad of a player and person for us to be writing him off almost completely? The kid’s only 20 years old for Pete’s sake.
It’s hard to forget his sudden rise from homeless footballer to Old Trafford, has happened so quickly that even he’s probably finding it hard to adjust to the changes going on in his life. That would be completely natural for any player.
Yes, he may have been made comfortable in Manchester and that he’s being looked after perhaps more than a new young singing would by the staff and players – but it’s probably all come too soon for him.
What he probably needed at this stage of his career last season was to remain back in Portugal. As soon as he signed on at United, we should have loaned him straight back out to a side in his homeland.
Guimarães,who we paid a reported £7.4million for his services, would have been the perfect place to send him back to. Not only would it have been good for them to have a ‘talent’ at their club, there’s no doubt he would have felt more comfortable in a setting that he was used to.
After all, he had come off a good pre-season for Guimarães and had supposedly settled into the team since moving a reported 370km away from his previous club Estrela da Amadora, who play in Portugal’s Second Division.
It’s so important that young players feel comfortable in their surroundings, however good they are and whilst I can’t be sure whether Bebe has settled in Manchester or not, bigger players have failed to settle in England, so just imagine how hard the move was for him.
Here was a kid who a couple of months before joining us would have been planning to have a good season for Guimarães in Portugal’s top-flight, which would have been a tough step up for any player whose only previous season up until then had been in Portugal’s Second Tier.
Old Trafford’s a culture shock for visiting players most weeks, so it would have seemed somewhat like a hazy dream for Bebe and it’s totally understandable that if you believe the rumours that he has found life tough in England and hasn’t impressed the coaching staff.
Looking back at Bebe’s season he made 7 first team appearances scoring twice, which rather surprisingly is not a bad return. Likewise his form for the reserves was not that bad either as he scored 6 goals from 13 appearances for Warren Joyce’s side.
Who realistically could say at the start of the season that they would have expected Bebe to figure for us on a regular basis, given the fact our strength and quality of our squad that Sir Alex has built over the years.
What were the chances of him hitting the ground running in the same style that Ronaldo did when he joined us in 2003. There was simply no chance of that!
Unlike Cristiano, Bebe had not ‘learned’ how to play at a top club prior to joining us like our former no.7 did at Sporting Lisborn; he’d had very little help in his career at all.
Yes we would have liked our young starlet to have played more. I suspect Fergie and the coaching staff, as well as the Glazers would have liked Bebe to play more, but football even at our club’s stature isn’t always as simple as that, is it?
I guess Fergie would probably admit that he’d have liked to have heard about Bebe more from our scouts and not relied on a video package just containing ‘highlights’ but there’s nothing we can do about that now is there?
So for those of us doubting Bebe, let’s give him some credit in that at least he’s played for us abit this year and that even after doing so ‘badly’ at us, a club the size of Beskitas (who are probably Turkey’s third biggest club) have come in for him.
It would not surprise me to see Bebe do ok out in Turkey. It’s worth noting that Beskitas already on their books have four proven Portuguese Internationals in Manuel Fernandes, Ricardo Quaresma, Simao Sabrosa and Hugo Almeida.
By having those players around him, it will seem like he’s at home and I suspect by learning alongside his experienced compartriots, he’ll improve week by week out in Turkey and that our coaching staff will be getting regular updates on his progress.
For Bebe’s sake I hope he does well next season and comes back to Old Trafford confident ahead of the 2012/13 season.
Football in Turkey can be harsh and he’ll have to ‘toughen’ up over there but it will do him good and Besiktas are in Europe next season, so he will want to do well to play in the Europa League too.
Saying all that though, the odds are againgst him being a success at the moment, but I am not writing him off just yet. Let’s see how he gets on for now.
By Adam Dennehey – @ADennehey87