Manchester United striker Federico Macheda, who went out on loan to Queens Park Rangers in January, has been ruled out for the remainder of the season due to an ankle injury. The 20-year-old was brought to the West London club by Neil Warnock but the QPR manager was soon replaced by former Manchester United striker Mark Hughes. The youngster only made 6 appearances and the two starts he received were in FA Cup ties versus League One side MK Dons. The striker didn't bag a single goal during this loan spell. In addition, Macheda was fined £15,000 earlier this month after making homophobic comments on his Twitter account. It's certainly fair to say that this loan spell to QPR, just as last season's to then Serie A side Sampdoria, can be classified as a disappointment.
At this point in time, Macheda's future at United is probably up in the air. After a brilliant start at the club, which included a famous winner versus Aston Villa in the 2008-09 title-winning season, Macheda has failed to show the necessary improvement to make himself a first-team regular at United. With Dimitar Berbatov's upcoming departure this summer, and with the unlikelihood that Michael Owen will be brought back for another season, United will be looking for a 4th-choice striker behind Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, and Javier Hernandez (Chicharito). That role might not sound like the most glamorous one, but it's an important squad role for a big club like United that typically competes on multiple fronts throughout a season. Had Macheda's development gone as hoped, he would likely would step into that role. As it stands now, it's hard to imagine that Sir Alex Ferguson will entrust the Italian U-21 international with that responsibility.