Federico Macheda can’t wait for the new season to start, a campaign he admits could be pivotal in his Manchester United career.
Macheda burst onto the scene as a 17-year-old in April 2009 with a stunning injury-time winner against Aston Villa on his senior debut. But the past three seasons have yielded just 12 starts in a United shirt, a handful of injuries and frustrating loan spells at Sampdoria and Queens Park Rangers.
Last term’s stint at Loftus Road started well enough – Kiko featured six times in a month – but a niggling ankle injury ended his season and eventually required surgery.
He’s not played competitive football since 2 February, which is why mention of United’s pre-season tour to South Africa, China and Europe draws a big smile from the 20-year-old.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” he told ManUtd.com. “It’s always great to visit fans in different countries. You meet new people, you see new cities, you experience different cultures.
“I didn’t know how big the club was around the world when I went away for the first time in 2009.
"It’s great to be back at Manchester United. When you go on loan you really understand how important it is to play for this club. I’m really happy to be back and I can’t wait for the start of the season."
- Federico Macheda