Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed the emergence of Federico Macheda is one of the reasons why Manchester United have not spent big to replace Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez.
The 17-year-old Italian was on target as United beat a Malaysian XI 2-0 in Kuala Lumpur today, netting the opener before free-transfer arrival Michael Owen added a second shortly afterwards.
Ferguson was pleased with the workout but reserved special praise for Macheda, who burst on to the scene last season with vital goals against Aston Villa and Sunderland as United clinched their third successive Barclays Premier Leaguecrown.
He told MUTV: "I am pleased that Macheda and Owen have struck up a good partnership.
"We have big hopes for Macheda. He is one of the reasons we didn't go into the market. He is strong, athletic and a good finisher.
"He played his part last season but he is just a young lad learning his game."
Ferguson was also pleased with Owen, who grabbed his second goal in two pre-season games.
"It was a typical Michael Owen goal. He reacted first as he did the other night, his whole contribution was very good," he said.
Macheda is excited at his partnership with Owen and vowed to learn off the former Liverpool and Real Madrid man.
"I will learn from him because he is one of the best strikers. It's important to learn from him and get better day by day," he said.