By Ben Davies
Manchester United have announced the signing of Tiago Manuel Dias Correia (also known as Bébé) from Portuguese club Vitória de Guimarães for a reported £7.4 million. Bébé was apparently recommended to Sir Alex Ferguson by his former assistant coach Carlos Queiroz. The 20-year-old only moved to Guimarães five weeks ago from Portuguese third division club Estrala da Amadora and has represented Portugal in the homeless World Cup.
Yesterday Bébé was pictured in Spanish newspaper Marca linking him with a move to Real Madrid, which has perhaps forced Sir Alex’s hand in signing the young Portuguese earlier than planned. Ronaldo, Diouf, Smalling and Hernandez were all starting to gain interest from other clubs before Sir Alex and Man United made their move.
Value in the market? For the third time this year I’ve been left scratching my head regarding transfer activity – first Smalling, secondly Hernandez and now Bébé all under the £10m figure. Many were disappointed when the singing of Hernandez was announced – concerned with signing players of value and developing potential rather than signing established named players. We’d all agree Hernandez now looks an absolute bargain. I’m firmly of the opinion Smalling will be considered a bargain once he understands the art of defending, which surely will come with experience. Will Bébé? Sir Alex Ferguson and his scouting network know better than most of players available. Personally, we should back Sir Alex on this transfer. His record for signing unknown top players is quite extraordinary – the list is endless.
Of course this signing will ask questions regarding Ozil. If we can afford £7.4m for Bebe, why not splash the cash on Ozil? Perhaps it simply boils down to Sir Alex not fancying the young German or he doesn’t fit into team plans? Perhaps wage demands are a factor?
Bébé’s playing position is unclear – the official site suggests he is striker whilst others have claimed he is a winger or an attacking midfielder. Considering the high number of forwards at club signing a further forward does seem a tad odd. There are a couple of YouTube video’s knocking about – generally I prefer not to make any judgement via these videos. However, at the moment we have no other method to form an opinion – he seemingly likes to play on the wings or play in a forward role from midfield, which would suggest he is not a striker?
We thought Smalling’s jump from Maidstone to United was big. Well being homeless and joining one of the biggest clubs in the world is some going. Good luck to him – he has come a long way.
If you wish to discuss this issue further with myself or other members of the Stretford End Arising community, you can do so in the Forum