In profile: Bebe's Manchester United career

As he starts his third loan spell, Sports Mole takes a look at Bebe's career as a Manchester United player.

Sir Alex Ferguson is arguably the greatest manager to have graced the British game, perhaps even world football.

However, where the transfer market was concerned, he was not always the shrewdest of buyers. For every Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robin van Persie, there was a Kleberson, Massimo Taibi and William Prunier.

But perhaps the worst of them all, though, was Tiago Manuel Dias Correia, otherwise known as Bebe, who arrived at Old Trafford in 2010 from Portuguese side Vitoria de Guimaraes.

His signing was met with much intrigue, thanks largely to the fact that Manchester United had parted with £7.4m to land a virtual unknown - someone who had only joined Vitoria five weeks earlier from the second division in Portugal.

Bebe powers his way past Sunderland defender Phil Bardsley.© Getty Images

The story goes that prior to becoming a professional footballer, Bebe had impressed during the Homeless World Cup, but subsequent reports have suggested that the winger did not actually represent Portugal at any stage of the tournament.

Either way, he signed a five-year contract with the Red Devils and went on to make his debut as a substitute in a League Cup tie against Scunthopre United in September 2010, replacing Korean star Park Ji-Sung.

His Premier League bow - against Sunderland - came two weeks later, before his first start was accompanied by a goal during the Carling Cup tie with Wolverhampton Wanderers in late October, which United won 3-2.

Another goal, this time in the Champions League in the tie with Bursaspor the following month, doubled his United tally. Even so, it would be fair to surmise that United supporters were not convinced by the Portugal Under-21 international. His first touch often left a lot to be desired, while his passing was frequently wayward.

Bebe celebrates scoring his first Manchester United goal against Wolverhampton Wanderers.© Getty Images

By now, Ferguson also appeared to be on the same page as the fans. Having introduced Bebe as an early substitute for the injured Owen Hargreaves in a Premier League fixture with Wolves just after the Bursaspor clash, the Scottish boss replaced him in 75th minute in favour of Federico Macheda after an inept showing.

Ferguson made an identical switch in a Cup tie with West Ham United at the end of the month, but let Bebe complete 90 minutes of the FA Cup contest with Crawley Town in the middle of February 2011.

That was two-and-a-half years ago and still remains Bebe's last competitive outing in a United shirt. Subsequent loan spells with Besiktas, where he broke a club curfew, and Rio Ave failed to get him off the books.

Recent speculation has claimed that United are footing the majority of his £25,000-a-week wage during his latest stint Pacos de Ferreira. No doubt that the new man in charge, David Moyes, will be hoping that it is a case of third time lucky.

Barcelona attacker Thiago holds off two challenges.
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