Bebé Impresses on Reserves Debut
By Jason Mathias
Manchester United’s unknown new signing Bebé made his first appearance for the club on Thursday night, as the Reserves were outclassed 4-1 by Aston Villa.
Playing as one of the wingers in a front three, not a striker as was widely reported, the £7million man played the whole 90 minutes and was solid throughout. The particular highlight was his crossing, with half a dozen attempts being fired in to dangerous areas. He showed a real willingness to get the ball in early, something which his team-mates failed to take advantage of.
Considering the huge leap the 20-year-old has made in the last few months and the fact that it was the stereotypical tough English night of harsh weather and the defender’s close attention, Bebé’s performance was highly encouraging. However, even despite the injury to Antonio Valencia, I would be surprised to see him in the first team soon. He is raw, needing a lot of work and obviously improvement on his fitness.
As for the game itself, United came up against a very good Aston Villa side that look to have a real gem in their ranks in Barry Bannan. The left midfielder scored a hat-trick and was the best player on the pitch by a long way. He scored with an excellent free-kick, a lovely chip and a well-taken penalty, as well as hitting the bar twice with stunning long-range efforts. But the bad news for England fans looking to the future is that he’s Scottish…
United’s midfield three of Corry Evans, Ravel Morrison and Magnus Eikrem were outmuscled and for all their unquestionable talent, the team is crying out for a bruiser in the middle, something which should be rectified when Paul Pogba returns from injury. The game also saw a return for Gabriel Obertan, who was injured on the pre-season tour of America. He showed flashes of fantastic trickery and quick feet and some incisive passing – another positive from the night. And with Valencia’s injury, Obertan could well find himself pushing for a first team place if he applies himself correctly.
United’s goal came courtesy of substitute Nicky Ajose, who was left unmarked from a corner and had time to have a touch in the box and smash in a left-footed drive. But with the goal coming to make it 3-1, United were too late to secure a result.
With the poor result, United fans can remember the night as their first glimpse of a man even Sir Alex Ferguson admitted he had never seen play. And for Bebé, (not) better known as Tiago Manuel Dias Correia, it was a great introduction to English football, and he showed enough to suggest that he has the tools to make a certain few journalists eat their words about his ability.
Do you think Bebé has what it takes to make it at Manchester United? Have any opinions on the reserves this season? Feel free to leave a comment below…
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