Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd reminded about gem in ranks, as youngster shocks on big occasion with Liverpool, Real Madrid stars

Facundo Pellistri, July 2022

Manchester United winger Facundo Pellistri has received big praise from Uruguay team-mate Ronald Araujo for his displays among some of Europe’s elite.

Winger Pellistri moved to Old Trafford in the summer 2020 transfer window following United’s failed Jadon Sancho chase. The 20-year-old joined alongside Amad Diallo, with both enjoying varying degrees of success.

This season, Amad has gone on loan to Sunderland after spending the second half of last season at Rangers.

Pellistri was at Alaves last term, but an ankle injury has meant he has not secured another move away. What’s more, he has yet to play a single minute for manager Erik ten Hag this season.

Nevertheless, Pellistri made the final senior Uruguay squad before the World Cup campaign.

And according to Barcelona defender Araujo, the youngster is the player who has surprised him most, amid the array of talent on show during the nation’s international break.

“I think Facundo Pellistri is surprising,” Araujo told El Pais. “Obviously we know the quality that Fede Valverde, [Rodrigo] Bentancur, Darwin [Nunez] have.

“We all know the quality they have. But Facundo Pellestri surprised me quite a bit, especially since he hadn’t been playing.”

Araujo insisted, though, that Pellistri has not dropped his levels for Uruguay despite not playing for Man Utd.

“And more because of the level that he gave in the national team, that he was spectacular,” Araujo said. “Besides, we understood each other very well on the right wing. Facundo was the one who surprised me the most, yes.”

Pellistri waiting for Man Utd chance

Pellistri has yet to play for Man Utd’s first team but has made eight appearances elsewhere for the club.

Six Premier League 2 outings have yielded two goals and one assist, while he added a goal in the EFL Trophy in December 2020.

Other than that, though, Pellistri is still waiting for his first-team chance under Ten Hag.

And after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking, that makes it now two managers for whom the winger has struggled to settle.

What’s more, it remains unclear just when Pellistri will get his chance at Old Trafford.

Winger needs another loan spell

The ankle injury he suffered in pre-season of course did him no favours. But, Ten Hag is starting to get the best out of Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho up front.

Furthermore, £84million signing Antony from Ajax is also looking to impress Ten Hag after his arrival.

Behind that trio, Anthony Elanga and Anthony Martial are further options. That means Pellistri is way down the pecking order.

It will likely take another loan spell for him to try and make his mark at Old Trafford.

But, it is a long wait from now until January for him to get a move away. In the meantime, he has to take the chance with Uruguay as best he can and remind Man Utd of his talent.

Pellistri may yet also feature at the World Cup, which could see his stock rise further and increase the number of teams keen on a January loan deal.

But given United’s current options, Pellistri will have to do a lot to find first-team minutes.

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