Macheda urges Rooney stay
Federico Macheda is prepared to sacrifice a regular first-team place if it means Wayne Rooney staying.
Last Updated: 21/10/10 10:42am
Federico Macheda is prepared to sacrifice a regular place in the Manchester United first-team if it means Wayne Rooney staying.
The Italian acknowledges that an imminent departure of the England international would increase his opportunities to impress, but insists he would much prefer to be competing alongside Rooney.
At just 19 years of age, Macheda is still learning his trade and is not yet ready to shoulder the responsibility of leading the line for a club the size of United.
He was handed a 90-minute run-out in Wednesday's UEFA Champions League clash with Bursaspor, helping the Red Devils to a 1-0 win, but was unable to make much of an impression against the Turkish champions.
Despite failing to scale the heights in midweek, he is still regarded as a hot prospect for the future and Sir Alex Ferguson is prepared to keep faith with him.
That means, with Rooney possibly being frozen out as he seeks a switch elsewhere, Macheda could be offered a regular role over the coming weeks.
The teenager claims he would relish such responsibility, but admits he would like to see Rooney stick around to help share the burden of expectation.
"There would be more chances for me if Wayne wasn't here but it is better to have him in the squad," said Macheda.
"He is a good striker. The squad is stronger with him here."
Macheda accepts that he was not at his best against Bursaspor, with tiredness taking its toll, but insists he is ready to play a more prominent role for United over the coming months.
"I am young," he said. "Every time the manager chooses me I try to get better.
"I have been working hard in training every day for the day when I become a real player.
"It is not easy to play a full 90 minutes in a game like last night's, especially for someone as young as me.
"But I got through it and that will help. I wish I had got a goal. Hopefully next time."