RUBEN Lameiras missed out on Player of the Month glory in February, but the idea of him being nominated for such an honour would have been fanciful in the extreme a few months ago.
Not because of talent, one must point out. From his arrival in the summer, after being released by Coventry City, he showed plenty of ability, catching the eye in pre-season.
However, Lameiras had made just one league start, and ten fleeting substitute appearances, before being thrown into action in Argyle’s 4-1 over Oldham, two days before Christmas.
Ruben has never looked back. Since then he has played every game, scoring four goals and assisting for many more, becoming a vital cog in the Argyle engine. The irony is that, before starring against them, Ruben was on trial at Oldham, and looked to be heading for a Home Park exit.
Manager Derek Adams admits it took him a while to bring the young Portuguese to the fore, but since he has, the boss has been very pleased with what Ruben has produced.
“To be fair to Ruben he didn’t have a first chance,” said Derek. “He was in and out of the side and didn’t really have the opportunity on a consistent basis to show the talents that he has.
“I think that he has had a very good month with a couple of goals and a couple of assists. He is in a position where it has been very difficult for opposition defenders to pick him up.
“There was a reason why he went to Oldham and it worked out well for us. I think that there is a reason why players go to certain places at a certain time. He’s come back and realised what a good football club this is.
“He is a player that has undoubted talent, that is why I took him to the football club. He was unlucky at the start of the season not to find himself in the side, and he has has been able to be a main stay since he’s been in.”
To begin with, Ruben was playing in advance of Toumani Diagouraga, but when the midfielder’s contract ended, he chose to move to Fleetwood Town, who happen to be Argyle’s opponents this Saturday.
Diagouraga’s huge influence at Argyle has not been repeated at Fleetwood, and while replaced him and moved on, the Cod Army are yet to see the best of the Frenchman.
“He might not play on Saturday,” said Derek. “He might find his way out of the team, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t play. We have moved on, he did really well for us while at the football club. But as we say we have to move on and no player is bigger than the football club.”