After making his long-awaited debut, Erik ten Hag believes Facundo Pellistri has a future at Manchester United.
The 21-year-old made his first appearance for United in two years, three months, and five days, coming in in the 84th minute to set up Marcus Rashford’s second goal in the 3-0 League Cup quarter-final win over Charlton.
“I see a future in him, he’s doing extremely well, and we have to evaluate what’s best,” Ten Hag remarked when asked if he would keep Pellistri past the January transfer deadline. “He’s improving; I was pleased with his performance against Everton (in the behind-closed-doors game), and I was pleased with his performance in the World Cup.
“He’s appeared and had an impact, so that’s the next stage. I say congratulations, better, and keep going.”
United won their fourth consecutive game at Old Trafford with three goals, but both of replacement Rashford’s goals came in additional time.
Despite the fact that United are scoring more routinely, Ten Hag is still frustrated by their lack of ruthlessness following a competitive performance against League One Charlton.
“I think I was pleased with the performance, and you can see that we have some young players on the pitch, such as (Alejandro) Garnacho,” Ten Hag remarked. “We’ve seen him more in recent weeks, and it’s been some really excellent stuff. He was a threat so many times, he went one-on-one with his opponent, which is terrific because you like these players.
“Kobbie Mainoo did well in her first appearance. Pellistri came in for the first time and performed admirably, with fantastic actions and a good assist for 2-0 from Rashford, so I was pleased, particularly in the first half hour.
“I was less pleased with the (lack of) clinical for goal; we need more efficacy there since we produce wonderful chances in the first half hour: Dalot, Fred, the free-kick, and Alejandro, as I already indicated.
“Antony scores a fantastic goal, the team scores well, and Antony finishes brilliantly. But I believe we should have scored more points earlier.
“In the second half, a good save from Alejandro’s counter-shot, but also some actions where we needed the extra pass but didn’t get it. Then we have to battle for it till the end, and I don’t think they gave us many chances.
“But you never know, and we must wait till the finish.”
When asked if there was any news on United’s pursuit of Burnley striker Wout Weghorst, Ten Hag said, “No, unfortunately, I can’t.”