Facundo Pellistri’s star turn in Manchester United’s opening pre-season friendly highlighted how well the club have done to fix a key position.
No longer is the right wing role a desperate weak spot. United are over flowing with options.
While centre-back was the position Jose Mourinho desperately wanted to fix during his time at the club, he never quite got to grips with the wing position either, trying and failing to bring Ivan Perisic to the club.
The 2019 season began with Andreas Pereira on United’s right wing, an ill-fated experiment which underlined the lack of options.
Since then United have got by, with Mason Greenwood playing in the role, but it has rarely felt as though this would be his long-term position, better suited to a central role.
Triple move solves the problem
Failing to sign Jadon Sancho in 2020 led to United considering longer term alternatives.
A double move for Amad and Facundo Pellistri solved nothing in the short-term for the 2020/21 season but it is likely to pay off in years to come.
And this summer United have done a deal for Jadon Sancho too, paying £73 million for the Dortmund winger.
If anything United’s options are now overflowing. Pellistri starred in the pre-season friendly but United cannot really offer him the game time he needs. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told the club website he is likely to be sent out on loan.
This works to benefit Pellistri so he can play regularly and help him return to United a stronger player.
By this time Mason Greenwood may have evolved into more of a central striker, splitting time with Edinson Cavani this season, removing some competition from the right.
Sancho’s ability to play on the left too will enable Amad and Pellistri to duke it out for a spot on the right when both are ready.
While it may not all have been totally planned, with Amad and Pellistri both gambles in case a move for Sancho did not pan out long term, now the England winger is in, United are stronger in the position than at any point since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
Sancho can come in right away and make an impact while Amad and Pellistri may only flourish in a couple of years time. These are exciting times ahead.
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