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Pellistri Set For Loan Move After Showing Promise On First Senior Man Utd Appearance

The winger featured as a second-half substitute in the pre-season friendly against Derby and scored the Red Devils’ second goal

With so much clamour around Jadon Sancho finally agreeing a deal to join Manchester United it is easy to forget that the club did sign two right wingers last year. 

After the failed attempt to land Sancho last summer, deals were struck for Amad and Facundo Pellistri on deadline day. Not the right-sided attackers most were hoping for but two young talents with plenty of promise for the future, that was the word from the club. 

While United fans have already seen a snapshot of what Amad can offer, with eight appearances last season, they’ve had to wait longer to get a glimpse of Pellistri in first-team action. 

And many will not have been disappointed with what they saw from the 19-year-old as he got 45 minutes to impress in United’s first pre-season friendly fixture against Derby on Sunday.

Usually at this time of year United are in some far-flung destination further promoting the brand while getting some vital minutes in ahead of the new campaign. But, with Covid-19 still affecting travel plans, the usual haunts of Miami, Singapore and Tokyo have been swapped for Derby, west London and Preston.

It’s not quite the same glamour but the young squad that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has at his disposal this summer, mainly due to the regular first-team members still being away due to Euro 2020 commitments, will not mind what country their opportunity comes in.

Tahith Chong, who has already agreed to join Birmingham City on loan next season, opened the scoring as he bundled his effort over Kelle Roos but it was after the break when Solskjaer made wholesale changes that United impressed going forward.

Jesse Lingard set the tempo going forward, linking up well with Shola Shoretire and Pellistri.

Pellistri had only been on the pitch a matter of moments when he won a free kick as he was hacked down just as he was about to set off on a run into the box; an instant reminder of how dangerous he can be when he makes those moves in the area. 

A look at his highlights reel during his loan spell at La Liga side Alaves in the second half of last season shows that is when he is at his most effective. His quick feet cause defenders headaches and his ability to cut in from the right gives Solskjaer an option down that side during pre-season while Sancho is still away.

While it is his nifty footwork and pace that terrifies defenders, it was calmness and composure that saw him score his first senior goal.

A delightful through ball from Shoretire saw Pellistri round the goalkeeper before coolly slotting home. It was a move that impressed Solskjaer. 

“I thought he was bright and he took his goal really well. Great first touch. Good pass by Shola but great first touch which sets him up,” Solskjaer said after the 2-1 win. “I think he showed what he is because he’s a difficult player to play against. One against one he can go past people so I’m very pleased with him.”

While he is highly regarded at Old Trafford he is expected to go out on loan again to further his development. Sancho’s imminent arrival would see him drop further down the pecking order and he has already shown last season how beneficial a loan spell can be. 

Solskjaer confirmed there has already been plenty of interest in the teenager and if any scouts were watching United’s win over Derby on Sunday that list of interested parties may just have increased.

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