Ole praise for starlets

13 February 2009 09:09
Manchester United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has heaped praise on Italian starlets Davide Petrucci and Federico Macheda.

Both players have been added to United's UEFA Champions League squad, and Solskjaer feels the call-ups are justified.

The United legend is tipping both to make the breakthrough to the first-team squad.

"It is great this chance they are getting to witness and take part in first-team training and be involved on European trips because not only does it hopefully motivate them but it will inspire all the other young lads as well," Solskjaer told the Manchester Evening News.

"They have all been told that age doesn't matter at this club, it is all about performances, but seeing other youngsters getting this opportunity is more evidence of that.

"They've worked hard, listened and learned and we rate these lads.

"They have learned the Manchester United way and got a very good education. It is exciting times for them and this is confirmation of the progress they have made. It is a sign we believe in them and now you are asking the question of them, can they make the next level?

Big talent"Macheda is a big talent. He has the ability and can score goals. It is not easy to leave your home country at 16 and come to a new culture. It takes time to settle down. But he signed pro in August last year and has buckled down and got a professional head on him. We expected him to make progress and he has. He is a big, young lad and has good technique and is quick.

"He scored goals for the Under-18s but unfortunately because we have struggled with forwards in the reserves he has had to play up front a lot on his own.

"But it is all a part of the learning curve for him. He is hungry to improve.

"You see him when he has come back from training sessions with the seniors and he wants more because he has learned so much. When you are in and around the likes of Dimitar Berbatov, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez you have to look, listen and learn. He's picked up on things like movement. If you do that you cannot fail to make progress.

"Being with them tells him he is getting closer.

"Davide is a No.10 because he plays behind the striker and can also play in midfield. They bounce off each other and look for each other in matches. Sometimes partnerships like that just happen. Like Federico, Davide took his time to adapt. It takes six months to get used to United's intense training. But he has found his feet.

"He is technically and tactically very gifted. He scores some great free kicks and goals. He scores the kind of goals you would put on a DVD because he is capable of the spectacular."

Source: SKY_Sports