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Facundo Pellistri is proving he can solve Manchester United problem position

manchestereveningnews.co.uk 11/29/2020

Manchester United youngster Facundo Pellistri has quickly adapted to life in England following his summer transfer.

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Facundo Pellistri impressed against West Ham U23.

Manchester United fans were desperate to see Jadon Sancho in red at the end of the summer transfer window, the seemingly perfect solution to their issues on the right wing.

However, after months of negotiations, non-stop transfer rumours and multiple statements to the press, Sancho remained at Borussia Dortmund after United refused to meet their demands for the England international.

With Sancho staying in Germany, United signed four players on deadline day. Edinson Cavani and Alex Telles joined with United also completing deals for two promising youngsters in Facundo Pellistri and Amad Diallo.

Diallo will join in January while Pellistri was immediately involved with the United first-team. Former United forward Diego Forlan, who managed the youngster at Penarol, had told Ole Gunnar Solskjaer just how much potential the Uruguayan forward had.

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"He’s very quick and goes past players easily. He was doing that even when it was not a good moment for the team," he said. "He likes receiving the ball in midfield and moving forward with it.

"Even though he was young, I put him in my team every week.

“He can play on the right but also the left. He’s two-footed like I was and he tries to dribble like Ryan Giggs. I told Ole he has a lot of potential, but he has to keep developing."

United have carefully managed Pellistri's development so far. The youngster was named in the Champions League squad but is yet to play a single minute. He is yet to make his first appearance in the Premier League either. Given Pellistri is still only 18-years-old, expectations must be managed and United's current plan is smart considering he is still adapting to a new country and style of football.

Nevertheless, his performances with Neil Wood's U23 development side could see him fast tracked to the right team sooner rather than later.

His first U23 appearance came against Everton where he showed glimpses of his ability. He played the full 90 minutes against the Toffees and Wood praised his first showing. He said: "It was 'welcome to England!'” Wood told MUTV after the match. “But it was great for him to get 90 minutes on the pitch and a first taste of English football. I'm sure he can build from this experience."

Pellistri's first goal contribution for the club came just one game later which earned praise from United supporters. The winger easily beat Tottenham full-back Dennis Cirkin before delivering an inch-perfect pass to Shola Shoretire.

Even in Friday's defeat to West Ham U23, Pellistri was the shining light for the Reds.

The 18-year-old rode challenges excellently, displaying his fantastic ability on the ball. Pellistri won 19 offensive duels against the Hammers at a remarkable success rate of 68 per cent. Furthermore, Pellistri demonstrated his willingness to track back and help out the defence, completing four recoveries - two of which were in his own half. Pellistri was calm under pressure and once again showcased his crossing ability.

After just two months in the country, Pellistri looks completely settled and is gaining confidence. His development must continue to be managed but his performances are giving Solskjaer food for thought.

United do not have a natural right winger and Pellistri could be just that.

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