Man Utd wonderkids like Federico Macheda and Darron Gibson failed to live up to the hype – here’s where they are now – The Sun

FOR every Ryan Giggs and Marcus Rashford there's a Ben Thornley or Federico Macheda.

Manchester United have been renowned for producing first class talent that's graced the Premier League over the years.

But here's a cautionary tale. In the summer, former youth star Darron Gibson, once described by Sir Alex Ferguson as 'the new Scholes', was let go by League Two side Salford.

It just goes to show that they don't always go on to make the grade and set Old Trafford alight.

As well as Gibson, these seven were potential stars at United, but they were soon out the door when they couldn't cut it.


Championship Manager 2000 players will remember the Danish forward well. In that game he would go onto superstardom, but in real life it didn't get much better than mediocrity.

Plucked from Odense's youth team, he signed a professional contract in 2002 after impressing in United's academy.

However, he was nearly sacked by Fergie when he received a 12-month sentence in a young offenders institute for reckless driving, racing team-mate Callum Flanagan on a public road that ended in a nasty crash.

They were handed 12 and eight-month sentences in a young offenders' institution respectively and were both banned from driving for three years.

A year later he returned back to Odense to kickstart his career, and even earned a call-up for the national team.

In 2009 he retired from the game after losing interest at the tender age of just 25.

Two years later he was back, this time as a player-coach for Kerteminde.

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The Italian forward announced himself in the most speculation fashion, scoring the winner with seconds left on the clock in a 3-2 win over Aston Villa in 2009.

But it was something of an anti-climax for Macheda, who Fergie once hailed as the best natural finisher in a squad that also had the likes of Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen and Dimitar Berbatov.

Due to injury problems and poor form, his career hit the skids and spells at Sampdoria, QPR, Stuttgart, Doncaster, Birmingham, Cardiff, and Nottingham Forest saw him slip further down the football ladder.

A lowpoint came when a trial at Serie B side Bari failed to earn him a contract, and he then joined lowly Novara Calcio.

However, since 2018 things seem to have picked up for Macheda who is thriving in Greek football with Panathinaikos.

He has found his scoring boots again and bagged 33 times in 89 league games. Amazingly, he's only 29.

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