Federico Macheda first burst onto the scene with a phenomenal last-gasp goal that prevented Manchester United from losing to Aston Villa in 2009.
Expectations instantly sky-rocketed for the young Italian. He silenced those who said that the beauty against Villa was a fluke by scoring again in his next appearance, against Sunderland.
Yet ever since, Macheda has failed to live up to those promising first two games. He was loaned out to a succession of clubs, including Sampdoria, QPR and VFB Stuttgart. During his time out on loan, the Italian scored just a single further goal, for Sampdoria in the Italian Cup.
Many thought that Macheda was finished at Old Trafford, new manager David Moyes would surely cut the youngster loose.
However, upon being loaned out to Championship side Doncaster Rovers, Macheda has scored three goals in three appearances.
His latest goal came in the South Yorkshire Derby against Sheffield Wednesday. According to the Express, Wednesday manager Dave Jones 'desperately wanted to sign Manchester United’s Italian, but was thwarted by Donny chief Paul Dickov.'
Indeed, Dickov will reap the rewards from the Italian's return to form if he maintains the level that he is playing at throughout the season.
The big question really is 'if'. The perception in the past has been that Macheda allowed the early hype to get to his head. Having dropped a division, the player's new surroundings will hopefully keep him grounded.
If all goes well, Macheda could be back at United next season helping Manchester United in the striking department. The young Italian has proven that he can score in the Premier League, even if the evidence is limited.
If he stays fit, next season could see him finally step up to be a more consistent player in the Premier League. Even if the Old Trafford club cannot find a place for him amongst their crowded clutch of strikers, Macheda's potential consistency this season could pay off if he needs to find another Premier League club.
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