Manchester United have confirmed the signing of 18-year-old Uruguayan winger Facundo Pellistri from Penarol. The player has signed a five-year contract at the Old Trafford club with the option for a further year to be added. United were linked to the player in July 2020 with Chelsea also being credited with an interest just days later. It was a bit of a busy transfer deadline day for United with the club confirming Alex Telles, Edinson Cavani, 16-year-old Willy Kambwala from Sochaux, also confirming a deal with Atalanta to sign 18-year-old Amad Diallo (Traore) in January 2021.
This season, playing for Penarol in the Primera División Apertura and the Libertadores, Pellistri has made just five appearances, scoring one goal and one assist at first team level. During his time at Penarol, the 18-year-old has played 37 times, scoring two goals and four assists, so has a way to go during his career. Pellistri is considered as a hot prospect in Uruguay and his club would have liked to keep him the the remainder of the season in South America but United’s insistence that they get the deal done now seemed to have changed that. The player had his medical earlier today and suggestions on Twitter stated that everything was alright with it.
Speaking to the official Manchester United website about his transfer, Pellistri said:
“To join a club with the history of Manchester United is a dream come true. I have learnt a lot at Penarol and I would like to thank them for everything they have done for me. To have the confidence of the manager is an amazing feeling and I know that working with him will be perfect for my development.
“I am coming into a squad full of great players who I will learn from every day. Everyone knows that Manchester United is a club that gives young players an opportunity and I am ready to work hard every day to earn those chances and prove myself in England.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be happy that he has signed three more players for his squad before the closure of the transfer window but has missed out on his number one target, Jadon Sancho. It is expected that Pellistri could be added straight to United’s first team, also some think he might be playing for the U23s first of all. I guess we will have to wait and see. The 18-year-old is considered as a raw talent, much like Cristiano Ronaldo was 17 years ago and there will be hopes that he could step into the footsteps of the Portuguese winger in the future. His addition, alongside Amad Diallo, who will sign in January will be interesting to see.
Solskjaer, speaking about his latest arrival to the official Manchester United website, said:
“Our scouts have followed Facundo for a long time and we believe that he will be a real talent for the long term. Whilst we understand it will take time for him to adapt to the English game, he is capable of having an impact with his pace and ability to beat his opponent.
“Facundo has the perfect platform at Manchester United to develop and he has all of the technical qualities and the right mentality required to become a top player here. We are all looking forward to working with him to fulfil his potential over the coming years.”
United will not be back in action until the 17 October when they face Newcastle United at St James’ Park in the Premier League, which will be their first chance to bounce back from the 6-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Sunday, the second home league match of the season and the second one that United have lost. The likes of Telles, Cavani and Pellistri will add some depth to Solskjaer’s squad with the hope that all three players will add something moving forward. As Solskjaer has said, Telles is an experienced fullback, Cavani is a goalscorer and Pellistri’s pace and ability will add something to the team. There might be some excitement coming.
Written by John Walker