The news that Kiko Macheda will be going out on loan has come as no shock to me.
At 19, these are the years that he should be developing his game rather than sitting on the bench and scraping games here and there. There was talk of this occurring in the summer but Sir Alex decided against it feeling that the young Italian would benefit from remaining at Old Trafford where he would be able to keep and eye on him.
Macheda walks with a giants swagger, he is just 19 but you could confuse him for a man much older because he has an ultimate confidence in himself and his ability and whilst some may call this arrogance, I think it is something players should have. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?
Since breaking onto the first team scene with that goal against Aston Villa much has been made of his future, the goal basically handed us the title in ’09 as it reversed the momentum that was clearly in Liverpool’s favour following their 4-1 thumping of us weeks earlier. He would go on to repeat his heroics a week later against Sunderland and his place in United’s history was confirmed so why would he not be a tad confident in his ability?
Given that Sir Alex chose to keep him at Old Trafford it was fair to assume that he would get a fair few games under his belt to aid with his development but things haven’t quite panned out as such. The rise of Berbatov and emergence of Hernandez has made competition for starting positions up top harder to come by. The fierce nature of this season’s title race also allows for no slip ups or mistakes, the use of your best team is necessary whenever possible, in our last two games rotation of the squad has seen mixed results and reactions to our performances so his development won’t be put ahead of the team’s quest to secure the title.
He has made just 7 appearances in the league this season and only two of them have been starts so why not let him go out on loan? It would allow him to develop his game beyond the super sub tag that he is apparently being labelled with thus far (his goal against Aston Villa this season and against Chelsea last term add credibility to the term but I feel he has much more to offer).
Danny Welbeck was in a similar position to Macheda in that much was expected of him after a stellar career at reserve and youth level but he had no way to force his way into the first team but out on loan he is getting a chance to show that he can cut it in the Premier League and at the same time giving Sir Alex something to think about for next season. The same can be said for Tom Cleverley, who at the moment who is starring for an under performing Wigan team. As of writing he is still on loan at the Latics but there is a strong feeling that Sir Alex will move to bring him back to Old Trafford this January such are the impressive nature of his performances. So with this in mind Kiko must realise that a loan represents his greatest chance at forcing his way into the first team picture.
West Brom, Everton, Bolton, Wolves and Fulham have all been touted as possible destinations for him in England whilst in Italy, Lazio, Palermo, Juventus and more recently Sampdoria have emerged as suitors so there are no shortage of clubs that recognise his talent and feel they could benefit from it.
There has also been talk of a guarantee of playing time to be included in any contract to avoid any repeat of Guiseppe Rossi’s eventless spell at Newcastle so a loan move appears perfect for Kiko all that is needed now is for him to take the chance with both hands and prove that he deserves as much of a chance here that he believes he does.
With his talent if he does rise to the challenge we may see the actual birth of him as a top player rather than just the flashes that people may have confused as such before.