Great vision, and a shot in either foot

Last updated : 25 June 2002 By Luke Thornhill
"Even though I have been Hugo's room-mate for the past season I was stunned to find that he had signed for Newcastle United," said Babb, who has just joined Mackems from down the road.

"But I am pleased for him because he now has the world at his feet.

"Hugo has great vision and a great shot in either foot.

"And, like all Portuguese players, his technique is spot on.

"Newcastle fans need only look back to that cracking goal he scored against the England Under-21 team.

"But just as important, he is a level-headed kid who is eager to learn - and make no mistake, he will have to learn in the Premiership.

"People may say £8.5 million is a lot of money for a 19-year-old.

"But don't forget that as a 19-year-old he has broken into a Portugal side which, while disappointing in the World Cup finals, nevertheless has plenty of players who could be described as big-hitters.

"Of course he is not the finished article. Tell me a 19-year-old who is.

"But he will also have the extra benefit of playing for a fantastic manager in Sir Bobby Robson who knows how to get the best of Portuguese players."