Manchester United confirmed the signing of 18-year-old Facundo Pellistri on deadline day along with the signings of Alex Telles from FC Porto, free agent Edinson Cavani and a deal to sign Amad Diallo (Traore) from Atalanta was also announced ahead of its completion during the January transfer window. United had already signed Donny van de Beek from Ajax earlier in the summer transfer window. The flurry of late signings seems to have upset many people whether they be supporters of the club, opposition supporters and even the media. The Sun has reported that Pellistri is already working on an exit from the club. Sensationalism at its worst.
The 18-year-old arrived in Manchester on Friday but the likelihood is that he will need to self isolate before he can train with his new teammates or even play for United, so there will be a bit of a wait, unless there is something that would allow him to avoid the isolation period, which might be doubtful. The player had an interview with television station Telemundo in Uruguay in which he spoke about many things from his move to United and how grateful he was to play for Penarol, even holding the door open for a move back to the club ‘one day’, which is where The Sun has decided to manipulate that by suggesting the player is trying to leave already. He said:
“It is incredible that just over a year ago I made my debut in first team. It was unimaginable and to play in the first division with Penarol and now to play for Manchester United, I would never have dreamed of it and it is something very emotional for me and my family.
“There was a lot of talk about the two transfers and luckily they tried to leave me out as much as possible so I would to go crazy. First came Lyon and then Manchester United and I am very happy with the opportunity.
“It’s a league that I always watch with my parents, seeing the great teams and you can’t imagine going to play there. Now that I have the chance to play there, I’m eager to start new adventure and see how the rhythm is and if it is as intense as they say.
“It is the biggest club, I’ve come through the youth system, I was at the club for more than seven years, I lived everything, many experiences, very nice things like debuting at the Campeon del Siglo stadium [Penarol’s home stadium] among others.
“It was a dream and a pleasure to play for the team. I am leaving with a lot of desire to return one day.”
During the 2019 season at Penarol, Pellistri made a total of 20 appearances, scoring one goal and two assists at youth level, showing his skills and determination to be a star for the club. The following season (2020), the 18-year-old would make his debut for the first team, making five appearances, scoring one goal and one assist in the Libertadores, also making a further 12 appearances, scoring no goal but one assist at youth level. The player is a raw talent, just like Diallo, who will arrive at the club in January. It is a positive thing that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has decided to sign two wingers for the club, which give sufficient rotation options in the squad.
Both players might be young and inexperienced but there will be a belief that one of them, or even both could have a career at United in the vein of Cristiano Ronaldo, who was a raw talent when he arrived at United, got involved right away in the first team and free as a player, progressing his talent along the way and becoming a world star, winning Premier League titles, cup competitions and more importantly the UEFA Champions League which also paved the way for him to win the Ballon d’Or for the first time in 2008. It is something that we can only hope for now, seeing more as the months progress. Cavani, a fellow Uruguayan recently spoke to the official Manchester United website about Pellistri, saying:
“Pellistri is a young lad and I really love the way he plays the game. He’s the typical South American footballer who has that mischievous nature to his game, and the way he lives his football is a bit like, as we say in Uruguay, being on el campito, as we call it, a makeshift pitch where you have a kickabout for fun with your mates or whoever.
“He’s a youngster who has a lot to learn but who has a lot to offer too. He’s already shown what he can do at Peñarol, in the games where he’s featured. I’ve liked him from the moment he made his first-team debut at Peñarol, I liked him a lot. He’s coming here to the club, without a doubt determined to learn and mature as a player, but also to make a good contribution here himself.
“Learning his trade here is also going to be a great experience for him. So it’s going to be good meeting up with him and travelling together on this journey in this new chapter for us both.”
Written by John Walker