Dangerman Profile: Federico Macheda

Jonathan Daniel

The on-loan Manchester United striker is Birmingham's dangerman this afternoon

olton Wanderers meet Birmingham City in the final game of the 2013/14 Championship season at the Reebok Stadium this season. It'll be the Macron Stadium for next season but that's another story.

Birmingham's top goalscorer this season is on-loan Manchester United striker Federico Macheda. Born in Rome in 1991, 22-year old Macheda began his career with home town SS Lazio but joined Manchester United in controversial circumstances due to Italian football regulations preventing under-18s from signing professional contracts. Shortly after his 16th birthday he officially joined United.

Macheda went straight into the United Under-18 side, scoring on his debut and finishing top scorer with a total of 12 goals in 21 appearances.

He then signed his first professional contract with United on his 17th birthday and enjoyed an extended run in the reserve team, scoring eight goals in eight games, including a hat-trick in a 3-3 draw with Newcastle United. He was then rewarded by being selected for the first team for the match against Aston Villa.

With United 2-1 down heading into the final third of the game, manager Alex Ferguson brought on the Italian to replace Nani for the final half hour of the vital game in the title race. After Cristiano Ronaldo equalised for United in the 80th minute, Macheda won the match with a turn to evade his marker followed by a curling effort from just inside the penalty area in the third minute of injury time.

Macheda scored in his second appearance away at Sunderland and was rewarded with a five year professional contract. He was also named as the club's Academy Player of the Year in recognition of his performances in the under-18s, the reserves and the first team.

In January 2011 i order to gain experience he was loaned to his native Italy where he signed for Sampdoria to replace Antonio Cassano who had joined AC Milan. Macheda scored his first and only Sampdoria goal on his debut against Udinese in the Coppa Italia tie against Udinese though he was powerless to prevent the club suffering relegation to Serie B.

The following January, following his failure to break into the Manchester United first team, Macheda went on loan to fellow Premier League side Queens Park Rangers though injury curtailed his time in London after just three appearances and he was sent back to United.

After his rehabilitation from injury Macheda was again loaned out, this time to VfB Stuttgart of the German Bundesliga. Despite the club having an option to purchase, it ended up that his 14 appearances without scoring was not enough to convince the club's sporting director - former Bolton Wanderers striker Fredi Bobic - from making the deal permanent and again he was sent back to Manchester United.

The 2013/14 season began with Macheda being loaned to Doncaster Rovers of the Championship for an initial one-month spell. He scored his first goals for the club when he struck twice against Nottingham Forest in September to earn a point during a 2-2 draw.The following week, he scored again scoring the only goal in the derby against local rivals Sheffield Wednesday. Unfortunately injury struck and he was forced to return to United for treatment, though he did return to Doncaster for a separate loan spell, lasting until the end of December 2013.

At the end of the January transfer window, Macheda joined Birmingham City on loan joining fellow United loanees Tyler Blackett and Tom Thorpe at the Championship club. Macheda scored on his debut against Derby County, and went on to top the club's scoring charts despite his limited time at Birmingham.

He is a dangerous opponent and despite the lack of stakes from Bolton Wanderers' perspective, is someone that we should take extremely seriously.

It has been rumoured that Dougie Freedman wants to sign Macheda for next season - when he will be a free agent - and given his fondness for scoring goals in this division then surely this would be a move welcomed by most right-thinking Bolton Wanderers fans despite his Manchester United roots.

Club

Season

League

National Cup

League Cup

Europe

Other

Total

Division

Apps

Goals

Apps

Goals

Apps

Goals

Apps

Goals

Apps

Goals

Apps

Goals

Manchester United

2008-09

Premier League

4

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

5

2

2009-10

Premier League

5

1

0

0

3

0

2

0

0

0

10

1

2010-11

Premier League

7

1

0

0

3

0

2

0

0

0

12

1

2011-12

Premier League

3

0

0

0

2

1

1

0

0

0

6

1

2012-13

Premier League

0

0

0

0

1

0

2

0

-

3

0

2013-14

Premier League

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total

19

4

1

0

9

1

7

0

0

0

36

5

Sampdoria (loan)

2010-11

Serie A

14

0

2

1

-

-

-

16

1

Queens Park Rangers (loan)

2011-12

Premier League

3

0

3

0

0

0

-

-

6

0

VfB Stuttgart (loan)

2012-13

Bundesliga

14

0

1

0

-

3

0

-

18

0

Doncaster Rovers (loan)

2013-14

Championship

15

3

0

0

0

0

-

-

15

3

Birmingham City (loan)

2013-14

Championship

15

9

-

-

-

-

15

9

Total

80

16

7

1

9

1

10

0

0

0

106

17

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