It is a year ago this week since Facundo Pellistri arrived at Manchester United as the club accelerated plans to sign the young winger after choosing to sign top scorer Jadon Sancho amid Borussia Dortmund’s huge financial demands.
Pellistri, 19, arrived as an unknown crowd after only a handful of appearances for the Uruguayan side Penarol, and 12 months later he is still a bit of a mystery after a mixed start to life in Europe.
A club source admitted that the Uruguayan winger was in fact a youth team that signed after his arrival of 9 million. different climate.
Pellistri quickly took his life at the club and lovingly integrated with the U23 side by going out to contact reserve team manager Neil Wood and telling him that he was fully committed to the cause of helping his side at the youth level, even if it was not his long-term ambition.
Due to being in the first team bubble, he had to travel to matches separate from the other youngsters and use different changing facilities, though that did not dampen his mood a bit as he continued to make his presence felt.
United’s plan was always to send him out on loan in the January window, and after eight appearances for the U23 team, he agreed to join Spanish club Alaves in the second half of the campaign.
Pellistri wanted to make 12 appearances in his first La Liga season, five of which were starters, and again impressed the club’s officials with his work ethic and commitment to the cause. It was this attitude that saw them target him again in the summer.
In the low season, he finally got his chance under Ole Gunnar Solskjær and impressed in the opening in advance against Derby, which equalized the winner with a well-executed strike at Pride Park.
“I thought he was light, of course he takes his goal really well. First touch, good pass from Shola, but fantastic first touch sets him up, “said Solskjær after the victory.
“I think he shows what he is, he is a difficult player to play against. One on one he can walk up past people and I am very happy with him. ”
His growth is already ready to see, but United’s desire to sign a new right wing meant he would always leave on loan this summer, the only real question was where?
Pellistri could have joined clubs across Europe and got a taste of Champions League football if an offer from Club Brugge had been accepted, even though it was decided that a return to Alaves would best suit his development given that solid foundation he had already laid in the club.
Yet only two months later, and the no-brainer loan deal begins to be questioned as United review his current situation and the overall progress plan in place.
Pellistri has only chopped 195 minutes since joining the club in early August across seven appearances, with only one of them actually being a start.
A club source was quick to insist that nothing has been decided at this time regarding his future, although it is believed United could terminate the deal early if he has not played 1,000 minutes before the start of December.
In an ideal world, Pellistri would start every week, but playing in La Liga at all just a year after leaving Uruguay is still a unique achievement as he gains daily experience of what it takes to be a professional in one of Europe’s most competitive divisions.
“(United) seemed like an ideal club for him because they wanted to give him the time,” said Solskjærs former team-mate Diego Forlan, after being asked to provide a reference to Pellistri last year.
“Although he could have arrived and played directly, he is a young boy, you can not hurry with him, because he has the conditions to continue to grow and improve.
“Little by little he gets his chance. The coach will see when it’s the best moment [to play him], because he arrived at a club managed that way, and that’s the beauty of it. “
Forlan’s advice is crucial at such an important stage in Pellistri’s new career, and it’s important to note how much consistency will help him on his journey to senior status.
There is no need to panic yet.