Federico Macheda finally impressing again, years after leaving Manchester United
Federico Macheda could not have asked for a better Manchester United debut. The Italian scored a sublime curling effort to give his side a 3-2 win against Aston Villa and go down in Old Trafford folklore.
Despite finding the net a few days later against Sunderland, that was as good as it got for the 17-year-old. In the years that followed, her has become something of a footballing nomad.
Macheda may have only scored five goals for United, but the first two played a major role in the club beating Liverpool to the Premier League title. For that, fans will always be grateful.
Further goals against Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Villa followed over the next three seasons. But Macheda was no Marcus Rashford, and few were surprised when he moved on.
It took the striker time to find his form but, now 27 and with his 10th club, the former United man is enjoying something of a renaissance.
Macheda has scored three goals and provided one assist in six appearances for Panathinaikos this season. And United fans may be interested to see him finally living up to his potential.
A lack of a permanent home no doubt played its part in Macheda’s struggles. He had five loan clubs during his time at United.
A longer spell with Italian side Novara helped, and he managed 11 goals before heading to Greece.
Macheda may not have ultimately been United quality but, for a brief while, all he touched turned to gold.