Facundo Pellistri makes a personal breakthrough you may have missed
Manchester United’s defeat to Manchester City was packed a game Red Devils fans would rather forget.
But before we move on entirely, it’s important to recognise a breakthrough for winger Facundo Pellistri, who did not even play.
Pellistri was named on the substitute’s bench, and this is notable because it is the first time he has made a Premier League matchday squad since he signed from Penarol in 2020.
The winger initially spent time with the under-23s before two separate loan spells with Alaves.
Pellistri impact could be imminent
Pellistri did make the bench for a couple of Champions League games in 2020 but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer chose not to use him. And it did not lead to anything.
Now part of United’s first team squad under Erik ten Hag, Pellistri has a chance of game time and it could even come over the next fortnight.
Manchester United have two upcoming Europa League fixtures against Omonia Nicosia, with the away match this Thursday. This is ideal for Pellistri.
The young winger has a chance to start and make his competitive debut, and almost certainly will be on the bench again. He could feature this time.
Pellistri has established himself over the past year as a starter for Uruguay and is set to be part of their World Cup squad. He will want to get game time at club level.
Injury prevented him from going out on loan at the end of August and this can work to his advantage. United have a hectic schedule with eight more matches this month and Pellistri is likely to make his competitive debut.
The young prospect offered glimpses of his ability in successive pre-seasons, with goals against Derby in 2021 and then Liverpool in 2022.
He may not have left the bench against City, but this was a significant step forward all the same, simply to be called upon by Erik ten Hag to be part of the first team squad. When he gets his long awaited chance, he will be determined to take it.