Last night Manchester United signed – subject to a medical – 20 year old Tiago Manual Dias Correia, or Bebe if you want it on a shirt, for a reported £7.4m from Portuguese club Vitoria de Guimaraes.
5 weeks ago, he was playing in the 3rd tier of Portuguese football, and he once represented Portgual in the homeless World Cup. Now he is set to play for the world’s most popular football club.
The 6’2 signing has surprised even the Youtube generation, scrambling for information and videos on him. They are scarce; from what little we at Stretford-End.com have seen – other than the references to Jason Lee with the dreadlocks – he is muscular, confident and packs a shot on him. However, no conclusions can be made just yet – the jury is still out on Chicharito. Even the recommendation from Fergie’s former right hand man Carlos Querioz doesn’t instantly placate those of us (99%) who have never even heard of him.
After the first question of “who” came “why haven’t we spent this money on another player?”, with Mesut Ozil – the player who we exclusively revealed will NOT sign for United – available at a rumoured £8m, it certainly would provoke a raised eyebrow. United have now spent approx £25m on re-inforcements which contradicts the “Fergie is skint” argument but with each signing, has made many people wonder about those constant “no value” comments regarding the transfer market.
Bebe’s arrival immediately raised questions on the immediate future of his soon-to-be teammates and even that of his own. Javier Hernandez’s lightning form and status as a new signing means he is almost as secure as Rooney; Dimitar Berbatov is in last chance saloon but his clever goal against Chelsea inspires some belief he might grab that opportunity. Kiko Macheda has been kept with the squad while Mame Diouf shipped out on loan with Danny Welbeck set to follow.
With Ferguson declaring satisfaction with his numbers up front, one is left to presume that either Michael Owen will be moved out on loan (recently rumoured to switch to Bristol City) or Bebe will be allowed to continue at his former club or elsewhere until January at the earliest. The signing alone – apparently won before Real Madrid got there – is certainly a “rags to riches” story, worthy of comparison to the famous film Slumdog Millionaire.
So, Bebe… the next Ronaldo or the next Manucho?