Federico Macheda exploded onto the world stage with an injury-time winner during his debut for Manchester United, but since then he has fallen into a world of idle being.
The Italian striker stole headlines as a 17-year-old, following up his winner against Aston Villa with a goal in just 46 seconds after coming off the bench against Sunderland.
Unfortunately his fortune failed to reach full heights and loan spells at Sampdoria and QPR proved unfruitful in his hunt to become a regular starter.
But at 21 years old, Macheda is hoping it’s third time lucky after securing a move to VfB Stuttgart until the rest of the season – a spell that Sir Alex Ferguson is desperate to be worthwhile.
“I pray for the boy,” Sir Alex told MUTV. “I must say with his experience he got at Sampdoria as they sacked the coach when he’d been there a week. The new coach came in and didn’t play him. So that was four or five months lost.
“The same thing happened when he went to QPR last season. They sacked the coach and Mark Hughes came in. Of course, Mark had his own ideas about the front players and, once again, for four months, he doesn’t play.
“He’s been back with us since the summer obviously and he’s done well in the Reserves’ team and scored a few goals. This is an opportunity to get football at a higher level. It’s too good an opportunity to miss.”
Macheda’s impact at United has been thwarted with the progress of his academy colleague Danny Welbeck, alongside Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Robin van Persie.
Forcing his way into a frontline who are regularly find themselves being compared to the 1999 treble winners is something the former Lazio forward has struggled with.
But he now has four months in Germany to garner invaluable first-team experience.
Picture courtesy of Allison Pasciuto, with thanks.