United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

Possebon set to seal Santos switch

Posted by nickogs20 on August 20, 2010

Brazilian club Santos have announced the signing of Reds midfielder Rodrigo Possebon, with a deal taking the 21 year-old back to his homeland set to be concluded later today (Friday).

While the transfer is still to be officially ratified, with a fee apparently still to be agreed between the two clubs, Santos are sufficiently confident of getting their man that they have paraded Possebon on their official website, confirming that the player has agreed to a four-year contract with the famous club from São Paulo state.

Possebon was in action for United’s reserves in Dublin on Sunday, but things move quickly in football and, just a few days later, he’s back in his native Brazil ready to take the next step in his career. “It’s a pleasure to be at a club like Santos,” he told http://www.santosfc.com.br. “It is a unique opportunity and I will work hard to give my best here. I hope to play here for a long time“.

The classy midfielder moved to Manchester in January 2008 from another Brazilian Série A side, Internacional (from his home state of Rio Grande do Sul), after catching the eye of United’s South American scouts while impressing alongside Alexandre Pato in an Under-20 side that won the national title in 2006. Then just 18, he settled remarkably quickly in England and shone for the second string in the second half of a campaign that ended with him scoring in a Manchester Senior Cup Final victory over Bolton.

D.O.B 13.2.1989
P.O.B Sapucaia do Sul, Brazil
Signed 31.1.2008 from Internacional
Debut 17.8.2008 vs Newcastle
First Team Apps/Goals 8/0 (4/0 in friendlies)
43/3 (23/7 in friendlies)
Honours Carling Cup 2009
Manchester Senior Cup 2008
Lancashire Senior Cup 2008
Premier Reserve League North 2010
Premier Reserve League Playoff 2010

So impressed was Sir Alex Ferguson with the Brazilian’s rapid acclimation and progress that he involved Possebon in the first team’s pre-season tour of South Africa, with the youngster doing enough to force his way ahead of Darron Gibson in the midfield pecking order and merit inclusion on the substitutes bench for the Reds’ 2008/09 league opener against Newcastle. From there he made his United debut as a 63rd-minute replacement for Ryan Giggs, and he featured again a week later against Portsmouth, where the Red Army wasted little time in honouring him with his very own song.

Possebon’s next first-team appearance was to prove a real turning point in his United career, and sadly not a positive one. Handed his first start as the Reds took on Middlesbrough in a Carling Cup tie at Old Trafford, the Brazilian was on the receiving end of a horror tackle from Boro captain Emmanuel Pogatetz and had to be stretchered from the field with many fearing he had suffered serious injury. While he ultimately only suffered a badly gashed leg and returned just four weeks later, going on to make five more senior appearances and pick up a Carling Cup winners’ medal as an unused sub (as well as an Italy U20 call-up thanks to his dual nationality), the whole incident seemed to set him back, with his performances never again reaching those early-season heights.

A season-long loan move to Portuguese SuperLiga outfit Sporting Braga in the summer of 2009 offered Possebon the opportunity to kickstart his development and reignite his career, but what followed there still remains extremely mysterious. Braga changed manager shortly before the start of the new campaign, and while incoming coach Domingos Paciência handed the midfielder a starting berth for Os Arsenalistas in a Europa League qualifier against Elfsborg, he was substituted before half-time for little apparent reason and was never selected again. No explanation was ever offered for his sudden fall from favour, and he returned to Manchester in January after the loan was cancelled.

Possebon spent the remainder of 2009/10 in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reserve side and improved as the season wore on, but his form was still some way off that which saw him thrust into the limelight in 2008 amid much expectation, leading to speculation about his future. That conjecture died down as the 21 year-old played a full part in the second string’s pre-season programme, but Santos have swooped at the close of the Brazilian transfer window, and with the likes of Gibson, Tom Cleverley, Matt James and Magnus Eikrem all part of a crowded picture in central midfield at United, a move perhaps makes sense for all concerned. A return to his native league may be exactly what is needed for Possebon to recapture his form and fulfil his potential.

Best of luck to Rodrigo with Santos and his future career.

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2 Responses to “Possebon set to seal Santos switch”

  1. Don Pablo said

    Sad tale, looked like a Pirlo on the making. All the best in his career.

  2. steve said

    a pity as before the injury it looked very much like he’d make it, strange since it was’nt that bad a injury but i think basically gibson over took him so there was no room.
    lets all hope this means we’ll sign ganso soon.

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