September 22nd, 2010
Potuguese youngster Bebe will be handed his first taste of competitive action when he features in the Carling Cup at Scunthorpe.
But manager Sir Alex Ferguson will also hope that the Brazilian Anderson can continue his progress back towards his first team.
Certainly Ferguson and the United supporters who travel to Glanford Park to see their team begin their defence of the trophy will be keen to see how Bebe copes with a night of first team activity.
The United manager indicated that the 19-year-old would be involved at some stage.
Ferguson, however, was also mulling over a start for Anderson and if he does involve him – rather than save him for Sunday’s Barclays Premier League trip to Bolton – the United boss will anticipate further signs that the South American has recovered from the period last season when he almost gave up on life in England.
Having spent part of last January at home in Brazil considering his future, Anderson then suffered a knee ligament injury that ruled him out of the World Cup and – during his recovery – was involved in a late night car cash in Portugal.
Understandably, the 22-year-old has tested Ferguson ‘s patience during a time when – since the turn of the year – he has actually played just three times in the Premier League.
But United sources have indicated this week that Anderson’s stock has risen again recently with some senior players noticing an upturn in attitude from a player who is now in his third season at Old Trafford.
Ferguson – for his part – still believes that the player he bought from Porto can still become one of the best attacking midfield players in the world.
Anderson was a late substitute in United’s 3-2 win over Liverpool at the weekend – his first game since late February – and he indicated to Ferguson at the start of the week that he would like a longer run-out at Scunthorpe.
Ferguson suggested that his squad would be similar in composition to the ones that have lifted the trophy for the last two season.
That would suggest a mixture of young prospects such as Bebe and Federico Macheda and more experienced players like Michael Owen and Wes Brown.
The United manager said: ‘We played alot of young players last season and they all acquitted themselves well.
‘We will do the same at Scunthorpe. A lot of my young players will play. Bebe is training very well. He will be involved. Federico Macheda will aswell.
‘The Carling Cup has served us well over the last few seasons as it allows me to give everybody happy in terms of giving people games.
‘Playing at Wembley and competing for medals on the big stage is terrific for players’ development.’
Bebe is expected to operate down one side of United’s attack, though Ferguson has not indicated whether he will start the game. He has impressed some United players with his raw pace in training – with one player saying he is similarly quick to the French forward David Bellion who briefly played for the club between 2003 and 2005.
Ferguson also remains confident Bebe’s technical skills are sufficient to give him a chance of making it at Old Trafford.
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