Manchester United winger Facundo Pellistri looks set to leave the Old Trafford on loan once again this summer and he does have some choices to make. Greek side Olympiacos have reportedly entered the race to sign the 20-year-old according to The Sun. It is also suggested that the player does not fit Erik ten Hag’s squad.
Whether that means that he will not make it at United, who knows? It could just be that he is not seen as a starter at this time, despite the goal he scored against Liverpool in the opening pre-season match at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok. He was tipped to be a star in Uruguay and despite his talent, his loan spells at Alaves in Spain have not been successful.
The reports seem to come from Greek outlet SportsDay, crediting unnamed sources in the United Kingdom, which is interesting. However, there is a lot of competition for the young Uruguayan with clubs in Portugal and Italy seemingly interested in signing the winger this summer. United will need to pick a club wisely.
There are not many United players in the recent past that have had positive season-long loan spells with James Garner the most recent that had a positive time at Nottingham Forest. I really do hope that United sit down with the interested clubs and state that for this spell to work, the player will need to play, not sit on the bench.
As a young player, progression is key to their career. Sitting on the bench is not going to do anything for anyone. Of course, there will be times that players will be on the bench for rotation and to keep them fit for other matches, but doing that consistently for the majority of a season is a waste of time.
Last season at Alaves, Pellistri made just 22 appearances for the club failing to score or assist a single goal – which is not great. However, for United in pre-season, both this summer and last, he has scored for the club. In Spain, he amassed a total of 673 minutes last season, which is probably one of the reasons he failed – averaging just 30 minutes per appearance.
Olympiacos are seeking to sign two wingers this summer with a bid to returning to the UEFA Champions League, which is something that United will also need to do this coming season. The Greek club I also interested in other players, so it is not an open and closed deal, especially with other clubs reportedly interested in him too.
Pellistri is yet to make a senior appearance for United but in his debut season, made eight appearances for the United U23s, scoring three goals and one assist. The 20-year-old has been capped six times by Uruguay, assisting three goals but is yet to score one himself. This shows that he is considered a talent in his native country and needs an opportunity in Europe.
If United and his representatives choose a good opportunity for him this coming season, he could get that chance to shine in Europe, which could increase his stock at United and play him into Ten Hag’s plans next season. It is early days for his career at this time and I look forward to seeing him play, wherever he goes this summer.
Written by John Walker