New-boy Pellistri shouldn't be overplayed like James was last season

The headlines were grabbed by Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani on deadline day, and understandably so.

But after a summer chasing reinforcements in wide areas, they finally came in the shape of Facundo Pellistri.

The Independent report that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is considering promoting Pellistri to his first team squad straight away.

He has been handed the number 28 shirt, which is an indication of his potential status at the club.

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But United have been here before. Last summer we failed to sign an elite right winger and plucked Dan James from Swansea instead.

James made a flying start, which may well have convinced Solskjaer that the Welshman was better prepared for the demands of playing top flight football regularly for United than he actually was.

As the campaign wore on, James was overplayed. He looked burned out but had to soldier on because United had precious few alternatives.

He made 46 appearances across all competitions, which is far too many for a player in their first Premier League season.

That has led him to get criticism which is not entirely justified. His talent is underlined by Leeds’ reported desperation to sign him but he’s lost his way at United because he’s been asked to do too much.

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United should learn their lesson on this score over Pellistri.

His adjustment will be even more difficult than James’; moving to a new continent as an 18-year-old and not having a proper pre-season.

The presence of Mason Greenwood – and James – in the first team should help on this score, but Solskjaer must manage the Uruguayan more carefully than he did James last season.

Ultimately, it is down to the failings of Ed Woodward at board level that an elite right midfielder has not been signed in either of the previous two transfer windows.

James paid the price for that last season and it has stalled his United career. The same cannot be allowed to happen to Pellistri.

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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.