Manchester United first-team misfits have both been among the goals recently. So is it a final push for first team football at Old Trafford or a way of attracting interest from potential suitors?
Monday night saw Manchester United take on Aston Villa in a Barclays Under-21 fixture at De Montfort Park, Hinckley and two familiar names got their names on the score sheet.
The Red Devils won 2-0 meaning that Warren Joyce’s side have now qualified for the Under-21 league ‘elite phase’. Aston Villa had plenty of their best young starlets in action, including current NextGen Series top goalscorer Michael Drennan, but could not prevent a strong United side from running out the victors. The goals for the away side came via first-team misfits Bebe and Federico Macheda.
Bebe was of course a big transfer story when he arrived at Old Trafford for a fee believed to be in the region of £7.4 million from Vitoria Guimares in 2010. Considering he had only played a handful of games and Fergie had never seen him play live it was a big gamble. Since then the young Portuguese forward has not covered himself in glory; a poor performance against Wolves preceded a disastrous loan-spell in Turkey with Besiktas.
Federico Macheda arrived from Lazio as a teenager in 2007 and scored on his under-18 debut against Barnsley. After an impressive run of form in the reserve team he of course famously came off the bench to score the winner against Aston Villa’s first team in April 2009 with a fabulous curling effort.
Both have at times held plenty of promise when it comes to a potential future at Old Trafford; yet the duo now seem surplus to first-team requirements at the club.
Macheda has since gone on to have two very unsuccessful loan spells at Sampdoria and QPR respectively. Bebe had a promising pre-season campaign but has not had a chance to replicate any of that form in the first-team picture. With the two now into their 20’s it would appear the time is right for a move in order to further their careers.
So have the under-21 fixtures potentially helped the two find a new club? Macheda bagged his eight goal of the season in the fixture and is certain to be attracting interest from England and Italy while Bebe has also shown flashes of what United paid for this season and scoring this week would have done his chances no harm.
Come January it may finally be time to say goodbye to Bebe and Macheda.
Is it time for the two youngsters to move on?
image: © apasciuto