Facundo Pellistri's first start since August ends in defeat

Exciting Manchester United prospect Facundo Pellistri is currently out on loan at Alaves in La Liga.

The 19-year-old spent the second half of last season there and has returned this time around.

He made his first start since August on Monday night, as Alaves hosted Real Betis.

Unfortunately for Pellistri, the match ended in a 1-0 defeat for Alaves thanks to a Borja Iglesias goal.

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As per WhoScored, Pellistri only had 31 touches of the ball before he was taken off in the 76th minute.

He did get two shots off in that time, although neither was on target. He was only able to embark on one on dribble.

Pellistri was diligent defensively, making a tackle, a clearance, a block and two interceptions.

But ideally, he would be showing what he can do more at the other end of the pitch.

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How is Pellistri’s loan going?

It is fair to say it could be going better. He has been in the squad for all but one of Alaves’ league games this season, but last night was only his second start.

Alaves are second bottom and have only won once this season. Admittedly, that was an impressive shock 1-0 win over champions Atletico Madrid.

Pellistri scrapping away in a side around the bottom of the table may not be considered the optimum way to continue his development and the Athletic recently reported that his loan would be reviewed.

It might be that United decide to recall him in January, but they will hope that Pellistri gets a run in the side to show what he can do.

Pellistri is having to show grit and determination to try to nail down a place in a struggling side, and those are qualities which will serve him well in his career long-term.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.