Date published: Thursday 5th November 2020 7:30
Manchester United have gone back on their promise to Penarol upon signing Facundo Pellistri after deciding the winger is not yet first-team ready.
The 18-year-old arrived from Uruguayan outfit Penarol in a £9m deal. That made him one of four deadline day signings alongside Edinson Cavani, Alex Telles and Amad Diallo.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has described Pellistri as “a real talent for the long term”. However, it seemed he was due to get chances in the first team sooner than expected.
With United failing to land Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, it was claimed Pellistri – a right winger – would be afforded a chance with immediate effect.
Indeed, the teenager was named on the bench for the Champions League win at PSG last month. While he did not come on, it was expected that a chance would not be far coming.
As such, club chiefs at Penarol revealed their request for Pellistri to rejoin them on loan had been rejected by United. They stated that, upon the deal being struck, the winger was told he would be fast-tracked into their first team.
“Pellistri is going straight to the first team. He’s going to play,” Penarol secretary Evaristo Gonzalez said upon the transfer’s completion.
“During negotiations they asked me if I could guarantee that he was in the bubble because they need him.
“Then it will be a matter of whether the manager uses him.”
However, Pellistri is yet to make his senior debut for United. Now Solskjaer has confirmed their stance on the winger has changed and he would be instead be cutting his teeth with their reserves.
“He’s a young boy coming over and it’s all new for him,” he told the Manchester United official website.
“He’ll need a few games in the reserves of course to try to find his feet in a new country.
“It’s been very positive so far and he’s someone we’ll be patient with. We’ll give him time to settle in and get used to us.
“You’ll see him in the reserves probably in the next game.”
Pellistri has already featured for their reserves and Under-23s boss Neil Wood has backed up Solskjaer’s stance.
“It was “welcome to England!” Wood said.
“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.”
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Forlan tips Pellistri to impress
Diego Forlan, meanwhile, says Pellistri plays in a similar style to Ryan Giggs and feels the new United winger can impress.
Indeed, former Penarol coach Forlan has revealed he had a telling influence in helping United make their move.
The former United forward says he spoke to former colleague, and current Red Devils boss, Solskjaer.
“He (Solskjaer) asked me lots of questions about Facundo and I gave him lots of answers,” Forlan told the South China Morning Post.
“There was a lot of interest in the player and I could understand why. 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 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.”
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