Fergie delight at Macheda return

Sir Alex Ferguson claims fit-again Federico Macheda is "one of most exciting young strikers" he has had in over 23 years at Manchester United.

The Italy Under-21 star burst onto the scene in extraordinary fashion last term, scoring the crucial injury-time matchwinner against Aston Villa before netting an equally important effort at Sunderland a week later.

Those goals proved pivotal in United securing their 18th league title and led Ferguson to believe Macheda was mature enough to hold down a prominent position amongst his striking quartet.

Injury and a loss of form have meant Macheda not quite making the progress that was expected.

However, now fit after a recent calf problem, the 18-year-old is available to shore up an attacking department that has been lacking numbers ever since Michael Owen was ruled out for the season in February.

He made his first Premier League appearance of the season as a late substitute for Ryan Giggs in the four-goal hammering of Bolton at the weekend and Macheda is likely to be on the bench for Tuesday night's Champions League quarter-final against Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena.

And, although he was used sparingly at the start of the campaign, Ferguson is convinced the teenager has a big part to play over the coming weeks.

"Macheda has had a terrible season with injuries," reflected the United chief.

"But he came back on Saturday and I am delighted about that because without question he is one of the most exciting young strikers I have had in my time at Manchester United.

"He has every chance of being on the bench against Bayern because his ability about the box for a young player is outstanding."

Source: Team Talk
Date Published: 31 March 2010