Manchester United caused tremors when they first picked up little known Portuguese talent Bebe with little more than somebodies word for his talents as a reason. His story was a fairy-tale considering his unremarkable background and expensive price-tag but reality soon bit for the young Portuguese.
His £7.4 million transfer fee soon looked a waste of money after several poor performances in a United shirt and an injury hit spell at Besiktas that ended acrimoniously when he broke team curfew.
However in pre-season last summer he showed glimpses of his potential once again and also performed well for the under-21 side; leading Sir Alex Ferguson to believe that giving him another chance out on loan was his best opportunity at making it work for the 22-year-old:
"We feel the boy has got to get good experience at a better level than our reserve team. He's gone to Rio Ave who are fifth in the Portuguese league at the moment. Bebe has done quite well in the last two or three months. He got a cruciate knee injury when he was on loan in Turkey last season and that derailed him for a bit. Coming back from these injuries takes time but he's started to develop quite well. Hopefully his spell in Portugal, where he is from anyway, could help him."
He did not take long to make an impact; earning man-of-the-match and scoring the winning goal on his debut against Maritimo. He has continued to impress and this weekend he was named man-of-the-match once again as he dazzled in Rio Ave’s 2-1 victory over Sporting Lisbon. His excellent start back in his homeland has led some to believe there may yet be a future for the 22-year-old at Old Trafford; considering he continues to work hard and impress in big matches like he has so far.
After his excellent performance against Sporting Lisbon he had this to say about his time at Rio Ave so far and his future ambitions:
"I'm feeling very good and so I hope to continue to do well with good reports, so I can realise the ambition of returning to Manchester."
"I feel like I helped the team, but everyone was important. Here I feel important because I can play regularly. I hope to keep in shape, keep helping Rio Ave until the end of the season and return to Manchester United, which is my club."
So can Bebe make it at Old Trafford?
image: © Andrea Sartorati