Facundo Pellistri’s former coach has identified a key trait that the Manchester United winger needs to work on if he is to progress at Old Trafford.
The 19-year-old has joined Alaves on loan for the rest of the season after signing for United in October.
Before his move away from Manchester, though, the Uruguayan had impressed in the reserve ranks. Indeed, he scored two goals and notched an assist in six Premier League 2 outings.
He also received a glimpse of what to expect on matchday as a first-team player, appearing on the bench for two of United‘s six Champions League group stage games.
For the next five months or so, however, Pellistri’s main focus will be earning regular senior action in Spain. Speaking to inews, his former coach, Adrian Colombo, spoke of how he can immediately improve as a forward.
“The main thing with Facu is that he likes having the ball at his feet to run. He wants to get the ball at his feet and provoke one-on-one duels.
“Sometimes I’d say, ‘Facu, it’s better to lay it off then attack the space.’
“He needs to understand the game, when he can go past his man and when he needs to pass.”
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Colombo worked with Pellistri at Penarol, for whom the winger played before signing for United.
But Pellistri is not the first – and will not be the last – exciting forward from his country. Indeed, United teammate Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez have proven their worth across Europe in recent times.
Colombo added that Pellistri represents a different kind of attacking threat to some of his compatriots.
Colombo identifies Pellistri strengths
“It’s true we have a lot of players who get stuck in, who fight for the ball, who will jump [for headers] or block,” he said.
“But we also have this other kind of player, who is quick, who carries the ball at speed.
“Uruguayan football is very vertical; you attack quickly. That is the case with Pellistri.
“Conducting the ball at speed is his primary weapon. He has a little bit of rebelliousness [about his play].”
While Pellistri has moved across Europe, his fellow October signing Amad Diallo has stuck around at Old Trafford and could soon make his first-team debut.