Manchester United’s newly signed Bebé was ‘dropped’ from the reserves match with Manchester City’s reserves last night. This news has conjured up suppressed feelings from the author as this could possibly be the strangest signing that Sir Alex Ferguson has ever made.
Following the World Cup, rumours circled that Mesut Özil was to join Manchester United, but as we now know the German was prized away from Werder Bremen by Real Madrid in a deal worth around £12million. If reports are true Manchester United look unable to compete in the current transfer market and evidence lies in the failure to sign any big stars this summer. Instead they’ve continued to bring in young players such as Javier Hernandez and Chris Smalling at a combined £16million.
Add to that total another £7million for the unknown Bebé and there’s quite a substantial amount that could have been put towards a world class player.
All aware of the transfer will already know that Sir Alex had neither seen Bebé play in person or via recorded footage. Ferguson’s decision to sign the player was met with both confusion and cynicism from the media and football community.
Rocky Balboa’s fictional rags to riches story pales in comparison to Bebé’s dismal reality; a childhood spent in an orphanage to playing in the Homeless World Cup (which apparently didn’t happen.) It has a real Dickensian flavour, and has the premise for an award winning movie script, as long as it all goes according to plan.
Sentimentality aside, this is football. Fairy tales are great, but only if they come true and if reports are correct in suggesting that Bebé’s touch isn’t up to the standard of the Premier League, or even Manchester United’s reserves for that matter, then the striker’s biopic could suite the disaster film genre.
Conspiracy theories plague internet football forums with regards to the 20-year-old’s signing. One in particular was a source for amusement suggesting that the whole deal had been fabricated by the Glazers to exhibit the club’s spending power of old. The author isn’t easily swayed by such theories, fortunately.
Ferguson may have taken a gamble, but it’s an educated risk, using his scouts and former right hand man Carlos Queiroz’s advice to evaluate the situation:
“It’s one of these things that when you identify someone of potential we normally would assess over a longer period but we do scout Portugal and he’s very bright and he’s got tremendous instinct.
“It was one of those decisions that had to be made quickly, so I made it quickly. I don’t think it’s a risk or a fairy story.”
The press are always on the look out to criticise any manager involved in what could be considered a risky transfer manoeuvre, despite Ferguson’s reassurance that Bebé has all the makings of a good player. The fact is that £7million on an unknown striker from the Portuguese third division is undoubtedly a gamble.
As the Glazers continue to strip Man United from the inside, critics will utilise any angle to attack the club. If the striker doesn’t develop into a player worthy of the United shirt, we could see the press finally turn against Ferguson, a man they’ve held in high esteem for what seems like an eternity.
Many will defend Fergie, arguing Cristiano Ronaldo was heavily criticised for his first appearances in a United shirt for being all show and no substance. However, the Real Madrid star arrived to Manchester on the back of an already impressive reputation and was sought after by many clubs.
Has there ever been so much coverage regarding a player being left out of a reserves team? I highly doubt it. Given that there have been no official statements or comments, the whole situation is anyone’s guess. Not good enough, not fit enough or just simply injured.
Great Expectations have been thrust upon the young lad, and we’re all out to watch him fall.
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