Erik ten Hag has told Manchester United winger Facundo Pellistri that it is up to him to determine when he will break into his starting XI.
The talented 21-year-old was linked with loan moves away from Old Trafford during the summer transfer window, but Ten Hag opted to keep hold of him.
Pellistri’s role for this term has been to provide competition for the likes of Alejandro Garnacho, Marcus Rashford, Antony and Jadon Sancho.
Garnacho scored an incredible overhead-kick against Everton on Sunday so it’s fair to say his starting spot is safe for now. Rashford also converted a penalty to end his 14-game goal drought.
Antony has struggled for consistent form this season, however, while Sancho is expected to leave in January over a spat with Ten Hag.
Pellistri has made just six Premier League appearances this season – all of which have seen him come off the bench. Therefore, the winger needs to show his quality when he is next given a chance.
Ten Hag calls for Pellistri to have a bigger impact for Man Utd
Pellistri played for 18 minutes against Everton. The cameo was characteristic of his involvement for Man Utd this season.
Now, Ten Hag has said that his playing time will depend on how he performs in these brief appearances.
“He has to make also a step from bench player, coming in and having a good impact, to a starting eleven player,” the Dutchman said.
“We will see how quick that process will happen.”
Back in the summer, Pellistri was told he would have a more prominent role, which is why the club opted to keep him at Old Trafford rather than sanction another loan.
The player sought to get assurances over his game time, acknowledging his need for regular minutes.
Pellistri previously said: “I have spoken to him (Ten Hag) and we are working together to find the best club, the best way, the best option.
“I am happy with that way because we are all in the same position. [I’m hoping] to play.
“In my position and at my age, what you want is to play. We are looking forward to finding the best solution to do that.”
Ten Hag is also keen to give more opportunities to Kobbie Mainoo, who made a very impressive Premier League debut in the 3-0 win over Everton.
“We are very pleased [with Mainoo], but it is one performance. You have to do it on a consistent base,” Ten Hag said.
We are confident he can do it, but you have to prove it. You are only as good as your last game.”