Federico Macheda has joined Queens Park Rangers on loan from English Premier League rivals Manchester United until the end of the season, the London club has announced.
The 20-year-old Italian striker becomes Neil Warnock's first signing of the January transfer window and will wear the number 33 shirt at Loftus Road. Macheda spent a similar stint with Sampdoria in Serie A last season and hopes to gain valuable first-team experience during his time in west London.
"There is a lot of competition at Manchester United, there are some very good strikers there," Macheda told QPR's official website. "But I am still young and I need to get more experience in the Premier League."
Macheda revealed Rio Ferdinand - brother of QPR's defender Anton - advised him to link up with Warnock's side. "I spoke with Rio and he told me that QPR is a very good club and that if I did come here it would be good for me and would help me to develop as a player," he said.
The former Lazio striker came to the public's attention when he scored an injury-time winner on his Manchester United debut against Aston Villa in April 2009. Macheda scored a further four goals for United but his first-team chances have been limited, which Warnock believes makes the loan deal a "great opportunity for both parties".
"Federico is not getting a regular game at United quite obviously because of the quality of the squad they've got," he said. "Everybody in the league is in envy of what Sir Alex (Ferguson) has there, but what he is trying to do is get Federico some game time in the Premier League.
"I am sure he is still a part of their future plans. I believe this can really work for us because he is positive and always in and around the box. He can finish too. He puts defenders under pressure, he's a strong lad and he's got a yard of pace as well. If we can get him the ball in the right areas I am sure he can get us a few goals."