Big January decision brewing for Man Utd as star struggles in Spain

Facundo Pellistri

Manchester United are facing a potentially difficult decision in January, with winger Facundo Pellistri struggling to make an impact in LaLiga with Alaves.

The young attacker returned to Alaves over the summer after a successful temporary switch to the Spanish outfit last term. Pellistri became a key player as Alaves finished 16th in the table, avoiding relegation by four points in the process.

United allowed the 19-year-old to head back to Spain to gain more valuable top-flight experience after deciding he would struggle to get game time under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

However, things look to be turning sour for the youngster. Indeed, Noticias de Álava reports that Pellistri has ‘not yet made himself useful’ for Alaves.

Pellistri has been given him opportunities to shine, with manager Javi Calleja giving him time against Valencia and Osasuna.

He started on the wing at the Mestalla but failed to beat his opposing full-back once. The same thing then happened again when he came off the bench against Osasuna.

Pellistri has now been replaced by Miguel de la Fuente in the Alaves team. His first-team chances are also expected to take another knock when Edgar Méndez returns after the international break.

That will leave United with a decision to make over whether to recall the attacker in January and send him elsewhere.

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Man Utd target welcomes transfer talk

Meanwhile, Nathan Patterson has welcomed the transfer speculation that has come his way in recent weeks, but is is trying to concentrate on progressing with club and country.

The Rangers full-back has been mentioned in association with a number of big Premier League clubs recently.

Everton were reported to have made an unsuccessful bid for the former Gers youth player in the summer.

The Scottish Sun also repored that Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool were also tracking the 19-year-old and have been doing so since the start of the year.

Nathan Patterson Scotland September 2021

That may well have prompted Everton to make a bid for Patterson. But it was an offer Steven Gerrard laughed off.

Gers boss Gerrard has branded Everton “jokers” after reports of a £5m bid in August.

More recently, Manchester United have been linked with Patterson.

90min revealed this week that right-back is a United priority again ahead of January. Furthermore, Patterson and Norwich’s Max Aarons were on their radar.

Patterson for his part admits the past year or so has “just been amazing”. But he says he is focusing only on improvement on the pitch.

Patterson keeping his focus

He said: “Yes, that was obviously nice to see that teams are interested but I am only interested in playing football.

“That’s the stuff that comes with it and I am not really aware of anything that happens, I just go on the pitch and do my thing and let the outside talk.

“You need to keep your feet grounded and just focus on your football and that’s what I have been doing.

“In football you have media everywhere now, and you have everyone’s opinions.

“Sometimes you just need to block that out and focus on yourself. Surround yourself with the right people and I feel as if I have done that. My friends, team-mates and family keep pushing me on to do well.

“I have been working really hard with all the coaches that have been helping me along the way and any time I get the opportunity I need to make sure I am ready to prove myself.

“I feel as if I have done that but I need to keep pushing on and hopefully get more opportunities.”

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