Pellistri on loan after showing promise in his first senior appearance at Man Utd
The winger took on the role of second-half substitute in the pre-season friendly against Derby and scored the Red Devils second goal.
With so much clamor surrounding Jadon Sancho who finally agreed to a deal to join Manchester United, it’s easy to forget that the club signed two right-wingers last year.
After the failed attempt to land in Sancho last summer, deals were made for Amad and Facundo Pellistri on the deadline day. Not the right-wing strikers that most were hoping for but two young talents full of promise for the future, that was the club’s word.
While United fans have already seen a glimpse of what Amad has to offer, with eight appearances last season, they have had to wait longer to get a glimpse of Pellistri in the first team.
And many will not be disappointed with what they saw of the 19-year-old as he had 45 minutes to impress in United’s first pre-season friendly against Derby on Sunday.
Usually at this time of year United are in a remote destination to further promote the brand while still getting a few vital minutes ahead of the new campaign. But, with Covid-19 still affecting travel plans, the usual haunts of Miami, Singapore and Tokyo have been swapped for Derby, West London and Preston.
It’s not quite the same glamor, but the young team that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has at his disposal this summer, mainly due to the fact that the regular members of the first team are still absent due to the commitments of the l ‘Euro 2020, won’t care which country their opportunity presents itself in.
Tahith Chong, who has already agreed to join Birmingham City on loan next season, opened the scoring by focusing her efforts on Kelle Roos, but it was after the break that Solskjaer made some sweeping changes that United impressed at the ‘to come up.
Jesse Lingard set the pace for the future, pairing well with Shola Shoretire and Pellistri.
Pellistri had only been on the pitch for a few moments when he won a free kick as he was crushed just as he was about to run into the box; an instant reminder of how dangerous it can be when making these movements in the region.
A look at his highlights during his loan to Liga Alaves in the second half of last season shows that this is when he is most effective. His quick feet cause defenders a headache and his ability to cut from the right gives Solskjaer an option on that side during the preseason with Sancho still out.
While it was his astute footwork and pace that terrified defenders, it was his composure and poise that saw him score his first senior goal.
A delightful deep ball from Shoretire saw Pellistri sidestep the goalkeeper before heading coldly home. It was a decision that impressed Solskjaer.
“I thought he was brilliant and he took his goal really well. Excellent first touch. Good pass from Shola but great first touch that sets him up, ”Solskjaer said after the 2-1 victory. “I think he showed what he is because he’s a tough player to face. One on one he can get past people so I’m very happy with him.
Although he is highly regarded at Old Trafford, he is expected to be loaned again to continue his development. Sancho’s imminent arrival would see him descend further down the pecking order and he already showed last season how beneficial a loan can be.
Solskjaer has confirmed that there is already a lot of interest in the teenager and if any scouts watched United’s Derby win on Sunday, the list of interested parties may have simply increased.