Bebe is another 'late bloomer' says Benfica boss Jorge Jesus Reuters

Benfica manager Jorge Jesus has backed former Manchester United misfit Bebe to turn his career around at the Portuguese giants and replicate the development Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic underwent at the club.

In one of the most bewildering transfers of his reign, Sir Alex Ferguson sanctioned a £7m deal for Bebe in the summer of 2010. The forward failed to make any sort of impression at Old Trafford before embarking on a series of loan spells in Turkey and back in his homeland of Portugal.

An impressive spell at Pacos de Ferreira last season was enough to convince champions Benfica to take a chance on the 24-year-old, signing him for a reported fee of €3m.

After being plucked from obscurity four years ago, Benfica boss Jesus believes Bebe missed a crucial period of his footballing education, but is confident his new forward can make up for lost time and mirror the progress of the club's other "late bloomers", such as Matic.

"Tiago [Bebe] never experienced youth development," Jesus was quoted as saying by the Daily Express.

"He was introduced to football late and he lost a lot of time in England. Tiago's development will be equal to [Benfica attacking midfielder] Talisca's, Matic's and [Benfica central midfielder] Andre Gomes.

"They were all late bloomers."

Matic initially joined Chelsea from Serbian minnows Kosice in 2009 but after an unremarkable two years, where he made just two appearances for the first team, he was used as a make-weight in the deal to bring David Luiz to Stamford Bridge.

The Serbian international would develop into an integral cog in the Benfica midfield over the next three years and was inevitably linked with a return to the Premier League amid reported interest from Manchester United and Arsenal.

However, the powerful midfielder made it abundantly clear he only wanted to rejoin Chelsea and returned to west London in January 2014 for a fee of £21m.