Manchester United has a number of loan players who will be hoping to make an impression when they return, including Donny van de Beek and Amad. However, one player who many fans overlook is Uruguayan winger Facundo Pellistri.
Pellistri has been on loan at Deportivo Alaves this season, but he has not seen as much game time as he would have liked. He has made 18 La Liga appearances, but only six starts, and he has only played 598 minutes, which is not what his parent club or the player would have preferred to continue his growth.
With Alaves languishing 19th in the table and scoring the fewest goals in the league, you may have expected the manager to turn to Pellistri to give a creative spark going forward. However, this has not been the case, with the veteran Edgar Mendez being preferred over the winger.
Pellistri’s national team manager, Diego Alonso, appears to be aware of the youngster’s talent since he is routinely selected to play for Uruguay. The winger started against Peru in the team’s next World Cup qualifier on Thursday night, indicating that despite the setbacks to his progress, he may still have a future at United.
But what happens next for the winger? Does he stay with United and serve as a rotation option, or does he go out on loan to a team that will provide him the playing time he requires?
With the possible appointment of Erik ten Hag, Pellistri may have a chance to make the team. The Dutchman loves wingers who can keep the width rather than regularly driving inside, and Pellistri fits the bill.
Will his lack of experience work against him in this situation? It is a difficult decision to make given how vital wingers are to Ten Hag’s style, but it would be tragic for United to lose another promising prospect due to poor development.
Former United striker and Pellistri’s ex-manager Diego Forlan told United’s official media: “I think he’s adapting incredibly well.” When they [United] approached me about him, I told them everything – he has a lot of potential as a player, has strong talents, is quick, but he’s still young.
“It’s not simple to get to a fantastic club like Manchester United. I believe his time on loan at Alaves was beneficial, and he now has the possibility to return. It’s a terrific opportunity for him because he’s still maturing. In the future, he may be able to play for Manchester United’s first team.”
With a plethora of excellent players in front of him, including Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Elanga, and fellow loanee Amad, it appears unlikely that he will receive his chance. But, as we’ve seen before, stranger things have happened, and if United does hire Ten Hag, it will almost certainly be a fresh start for everyone.