Cardiff City striker Federico Macheda has admitted that he regrets leaving former club Manchester United to join Sampdoria on loan in 2011, suggesting it paved the way for his Old Trafford exit.
The 24-year-old Italian burst on to the scene for United as a teenager – much in the same way as Marcus Rashford has recently – scoring twice in his first two appearances against Aston Villa and Sunderland back in 2009.
After that fast start, Macheda struggled for game time due to United’s brilliant attacking options at the time, meaning he was allowed to leave temporarily on a number of occasions.
However he endured a difficult time back in his homeland with Sampdoria, failing to score in 14 games, and he labelled his decision to go there as the worst in his career.
“I don’t know why I went to Italy. It was the worst mistake of my career. I should have stayed in England,” the striker told The Sun.
“I wanted to play in Serie A. The team wasn’t so great and I was in and out. I was only 19 and we got relegated so it was not the best for me. When I came back, I had to work three times harder to get another chance. It wasn’t easy.”
In total, Macheda scored four goals in 19 Premier League appearances for the Red Devils between 2008-14, before he was allowed to leave at the end of his contract.
However, since moving to Cardiff, Macheda has struggled to make much of an impression, scoring six goals in 26 Championship games.
This season the Italian has been restricted to just five league appearances, in which he’s failed to score or even register a shot on target, while he’s also won just 25% of his average duels.
Macheda’s fall from grace shows that not all young prospects make the grade at United, but Rashford, who scored four goals in his first two matches in the first-team, will be hoping to enjoy a more productive career at Old Trafford.
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