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Multiple Offers Lined up for Manchester United Forward, Erik ten Hag to Take Decision Soon

Facundo Pellestri

According to latest reports, Manchester United will take a decision on the future of youngster Facundo Pellistri after the team returns from pre-season. The Uruguayan forward has been linked with another loan move in this transfer window.

The 20-year-old moved to Old Trafford in 2020 in a £9m deal, but he’s yet to make a first-team appearance for the club. Pellistri spent his first few months at Manchester, playing for United’s U23s before signing for Deportivo Alaves on a six-month loan deal in January 2021.

Facundo Pellistri
(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

He was sent back on a season-long loan for his second spell at the Spanish club. However, his time at Alaves has been hugely disappointing, having played just 750 minutes last term (stats via Transfermarkt). Despite his club struggles, Pellistri has been a revelation for the Uruguay national team, assisting Edinson Cavani’s two goals in a recent international match against Mexico.

As reported by MEN, Erik ten Hag will decide the future of Facundo Pellistri this summer. The report states the new Manchester United manager will assess the player during the pre-season and thereafter, take the decision to keep him or loan him out.

Meanwhile, the 20-year-old winger has been attracting interest from multiple clubs across Europe after his national team debut. Pellestri’s agent, Agustin Alvarez, has stated clubs from three different countries – Italy, Portugal and England – has been queuing up for the Uruguayan. Alvarez told Grand Hotel Calciomercato (via Express):

“He has a contract until 2026. He will make the pre-season retreat with Manchester and will take part in the tour in Asia. Pellistri has an opportunity to play in three different leagues next season, with interest building in his services. He [Ten Hag] will decide, if he will stay or if he will be loaned out. In the latter case we have several possibilities between England, Italy and Portugal thanks also to the performance we had with the Uruguayan national team, where the coach Diego Alonso who gave him the confidence that Alaves lacked.”

Player Profile

Facundo Pellistri has a great first touch which gives him great ball control. He also takes consistent touches when driving with the ball, making it more difficult for the opponents to tackle him. On a number of occasions, the player was seen to control the ball, bypass the goalkeeper and slot the ball into the back of the net with simple, yet quick and precise touches.

The teenager’s close control gives him the power of unpredictability as it helps him to change lanes comfortably while sprinting. He is adept at taking one-on-one runs against full-backs to suddenly cut into central areas to play the strikers. There are not many youngsters who come close to his average of 2.62 completed dribbles and 3.67 touches in the opponent box per 90 minutes, as per Driblab.

He also has the natural ability to protect the ball when under the press from opposition by using his body and being aware of the exit route via his teammates. Pellestri’s low centre of gravity allows him to pull out of difficult situations by winning fouls or by sprinting away from his opponents into space to take shots at the keeper. This is exactly how he has scored a few goals at the international level.

The Uruguayan forward man has an impressive change of pace, which mixed with his ball control and speed gives him the ability to create half a yard for himself in wide positions in the final third. This allows him better opportunities when crossing.

While Pellistri is a promising talent on the ball, he also has a great work rate off the ball defensively. He presses the opposition well and has great defensive positioning. Pellistri will often track the opposition full-back and man-mark his opponents if they look to advance through the gaps in central defence. He puts great intensity in his tackles when he has to defend one-on-one. He typically averages 1.25 recoveries in the final third and 2.29 counter-pressing recoveries per 90, according to Driblab.

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Verdict

It is clear that Facundo Pellistri is an exciting talent and his dribbling ability is a joy to watch. But with United’s depth in the wing because of the presence of Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Antony Martial, it will be better if the youngster is allowed to go for another loan spell so that he can get ample game time and enhance his reputation. The winger will be keen to be in Uruguay’s squad for the World Cup in Qatar later this year and so will be seeking first-team football at the club level.

The teenager has some impressive attributes but needs them to be fine-tuned. He also needs to improve in all aspects of his game if he wants to play regularly at Old Trafford. Both Amad Diallo and Facundo Pellistri will be looking to impress during the pre-season so that they can challenge for places in United’s first-team as a new era under Erik ten Hag begins.

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