Date: 17th June 2011 at 12:10pm
Written by:

With United constantly being linked with the likes of Wesley Sneijder, Samir Nasri and Luka Modric this summer in the hopes of bolstering their squad for next season, it’s easy to forget the players coming back to the club after loan spells, that will have to fight for a place next season.

One of the players that falls into this category is Federico Macheda. It’s been over two years since the Italian youngster burst onto the scene and scored an injury-time winner against Aston Villa on his debut, yet the fanfare surrounding the Italian prodigy seems to have died down since then.

After a sub-par loan spell at Sampdoria, where he failed to score in 14 Serie A games, Macheda’s career at Old Trafford seems to be at a crossroads. There’s no doubting his talent and potential, but with so many players ahead of him in the pecking order, would another loan move benefit the youngster?

Macheda’s agent has recently stated that the Italian striker will be staying at Old Trafford this summer, and refuted claims that Kiko is set to return to Sampdoria to help them win promotion to Serie A.

After his spectacular debut and a goal the following week against Sunderland two years ago, many would have predicted that Macheda would be fulfilling the role for United that Javier Hernandez is currently performing so well: scoring goals and forming a deadly partnership with Wayne Rooney.

Instead, Kiko hasn’t really progressed as much as many people thought he would. First team chances have been few and far between, and during a disappointing spell in Serie A, Macheda struggled to deliver.

In my opinion, the Villa goal has become a proverbial monkey on his back and Macheda has struggled to live up to the intense pressure thrust on him at that time. He was a 17 year old that came from nowhere to score on his debut and followed it up with another important goal the following week against Sunderland. Macheda was suddenly hyped up to be United’s next great talent that could waltz into the first team straight away, when to be honest he wasn’t ready for it.

It’s important to remember that Macheda is only 19, and has got plenty of time to develop his game and break into the first team.

But first-team opportunities for Macheda next season are likely to be at a premium. With the emergence of Chicharito last season and his partnership with Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen ahead of him in the pecking order, plus the return of Mame Diouf and Danny Welbeck from loan, Macheda is, at best, fifth choice striker for United next season and will likely be limited to the Carling Cup and the odd FA Cup game, unless injuries strike and he can get an extended run of games.

As United cannot guarantee Macheda a first-team place, why not follow the same practice that worked so well with Tom Cleverley at Wigan and Danny Welbeck at Sunderland last season and loan the Italian out to a Premiership club?

Macheda could develop his game, hone his skills and get not just first-team experience, but Premiership experience, with a newly-promoted side like Norwich or Swansea, or a team like Wolves, Wigan or West Brom. Macheda could spend a season on loan and come back to United a better player with more confidence and more experience, just like Cleverley and Welbeck before him.

What do you think – is Macheda set to make a big impact for United next season or would a loan move be a better alternative?

Follow Tom Jinks on Twitter at


8 responses to “Solving The Macheda Conundrum”

  1. bling says:

    Let him go on loan to a premier league team where he will have the best chance of regular first team football,that will be the best thing for him at the moment.

  2. spoon says:

    Yep, gotta give him some premier league experience. Welbeck has done okay, barring injuries, with Sunderland. Take Welbeck back in and give Sunderland Macheda instead.

  3. alex says:

    he had a chance to stay at EPL by going on loan to WBA last season, but he opted to go to Sampdoria instead, which turns out to be a rubbish loan spell which only harm his progress.. i guessed all those hype has gone to him.. sad to say, i dun see him having any future at Man Utd.. time to cash in on him!!

  4. RedDevilKile says:

    kiko have a lot of quality, i think now his body is growing and hes not really feeling confident with himself, that should stop any time as hes about to turn 20 , hes gaining weight and to his old game is a new thing to get use to ,I agree with him being loaned to a new promoted team or even to the championship that will boost his confidence given his ability , kiko should not be sold

  5. pete says:

    Talented lad, I hope we keep hold of him. Potentially better than Wellbeck

  6. toshe says:

    he needs to play,regulary in the epl,so loan

  7. RedFan says:

    Yep strange one this.. I always tHought Macheda was a better, more talented striker than Welbeck. He really shud’ve gone on loan to a premiership club though. Sampdoria was juz the wrong move fr the very start. I’m really surprised Fergie allowed it. I hope he remains patient & agrees to go on loan to the right club this year. Let’s not do another Rossi or Pique!

  8. Tom says:

    I think Ferguson still likes Macheda, but would have been annoyed with his decision to go to Italy in January. That was never going to benefit his Man Utd career, and was made to improve his standing in Italy and with the national team.

    That kind if attitude wouldn’t go down well at all. He should have gone to an English team on loan and gained useful experience. He went to Sampdoria and scored no goals, and was relegated with them.

    However if we could pull of the mother of all signings in Alexis Sanchez, then Macheda might benefit. The reason being is that if Sanchez and Young signed, then Berbatov will most likely be sold is possible. That would leave Rooney, Hernandez, Owen and Welbeck. Fergie might want to keep Macheda for added strength upfront, considering we can’t be 100% sure on Owen fitness.