Facundo Pellistri just wants to play football, giving Jadon Sancho as a reason for loan spell

Manchester United winger Facundo Pellistri has talked about life after signing for the Old Trafford club, including giving a reason why he left the club on loan for the second season in a row – seemingly because of the signing of Jadon Sancho, who arrived from Borussia Dortmund in a £73 million deal. United signed the Uruguayan winger in the summer of 2020 from Penarol for £9 million.

This was a deal for the future rather than now. Pellistri was rated highly and United got in there before any of the competition, seemingly getting a good deal for what could be a top player in the years to come. The 19-year-old started well in United’s pre-season campaign this summer, even scoring United’s second goal in a 2-1 victory over Derby County and assisting United’s first goal in a 4-2 defeat to Queens Park Rangers.

It was suggested that the player wanted to stay at United this season, finding his feet at the club but in the end he was loaned to Deportivo Alaves for the second time. This should have given him more minutes on the pitch, therefore allowing his to acclimatise to European football, which will give him more benefit ahead of his future at United, which seems to be something that he wants to achieve, which is a good things considering the player’s attributes.

When United signed the Uruguayan, arriving with compatriot Edinson Cavani, the Old Trafford club saw him as a player for the future, also securing a deal for Amad Diallo of Atalanta, with his spell at United starting in January 2021 when he made the move to Manchester. He is a talented player and could offer United a lot in the coming years, providing he makes it at the club.

Pellistri, 19, recently spoke to The Athletic about his move to United, including the loan spell which sees him playing a bit-part role at Alaves in Spain. The player spoke greatly about his pre-season escapades in which he tasted first-hand what is expected of a United player, confirming that Sancho’s move was one of the reasons for his agreement for the loan spell, saying:

“I felt stronger in the first team, I scored in a game at Derby for the first team. It was a very hard pre-season, the hardest I’ve ever had. Physically, you are really pushed, the training is such a high level.

“New players came in, including in my position [Jadon Sancho] so I thought it was a good idea to go on loan again. The best thing for a player is to play, and for a young player, to get experience.”

Pellistri also spoke about the changes in his life now that he had signed for one of the world’s biggest football clubs, talking about the house that the club provided for him, plus the food, which would have lasted him many months – also talking about the fact that the club would have provided anything that he wanted. He concluded by saying:

“The club gave me a house filled with enough food for two months. The difference between United and a club in Uruguay was incredible. There were so many people to help look after us.

“If we had any problem, I just had to call. If I wanted a new phone — no problem. They would get one for me.”

The Uruguayan winger will have known that his participation in the squad would have been limited before Sancho arrived at the club and playing regular football on loan, at least in a country that speaks the same language as him, whilst being in Europe, therefore helping him acclimatise to European football at the same time, would have been a good choice for him, rather than being frustrated of a lack of football at United.

At Alaves this season, it does not seem to be going to plan for the 19-year-old, making seven appearances for the club, not scoring or assisting a single goal and only playing 195 minutes of football. This means that United could look at recalling the winger from his loan spell which reportedly states that he will need to log 1,000 minutes of first team football by a date at the start of December 2021.

If this 1,000 minute clause is true, Pellistri would need to play every minute of the next nine matches to get that number of minutes and with just 195 minutes played since the start of his loan spell, it would seen unlikely but still possible for him to achieve. This would mean that he would play against Real Betis, Cadiz, Elche, Barcelona, Levante, Sevilla, Celta Vigo, Granada and Getafe with the last match played on the 12 December.

If United did end up recalling the player, which was reported in the past few days, United will either place him in the U23’s, the first team or find another club that would give him the minutes that he needs in order to develop. In the first team this season, that would seem unlikely but next season, with players leaving this summer on the expiry of their contracts, it would be a possibility.

Instead of loaning him to a league in another country, perhaps United could find a club in the Championship or even the Premier League that would give him the minutes he needs to show his level of ability and make his mark in England. The Championship would seem more likely, which would give him a taste of how football is played in this country, like he found out against Derby and QPR in the summer.

Written by John Walker

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I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.