Facundo Pellistri got his first taste of English football in an under-23 game against Everton.
The young Uruguayan was named as a starter at Leigh Sports Village, having been an unused substitute in the Champions League away at PSG.
A stop-off in the under-23s was always likely for the teenager, who signed on transfer deadline day from Penarol.
Pellistri came through his debut well, playing all 90 minutes in a dramatic 2-1 victory, the team’s first in the league this season.
He lined up on the right wing, and benefited from having Brandon Williams next to him at right-back, even if the link between the two at times fell short – as you would expect from two players featuring together for the first time.
Williams told MUTV afterwards he ‘enjoyed playing alongside him’ in reference to Pellistri, and it was easy to see why.
Pellistri has a tendency to drift deep, to seek out possession, and this not only provides extra support for the full-back, but it creates space for Williams to overlap when the Uruguayan’s marker tracks him back.
He also moved inside to central positions when possible, and this was when he got his first chance of the game, drilling a low shot which was parried by the goalkeeper.
Pellistri had an effort saved in the second half too, testing the goalkeeper once again.
There were a couple of moments where his final pass fell short and was too easy for Everton’s defence to anticipate. He was also clattered into on a couple of occasions. Both times he got straight up.
His performance was about as expected. A promising player with good technical ability, who is not yet the finished product.
A few more games in the under-23s would probably do him good, and as he learns what to expect with the pace of the game, he should grow in confidence.
The biggest plus points were his ability to get into shooting positions, his work rate, and lasting all 90 minutes on his debut. There was plenty to build on.
Pellistri’s debut drew plenty of attention. Here is a look at some of the reaction on social media…
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