Detailed Scout Report: Facundo Pellistri | OneFootball

Detailed Scout Report: Facundo Pellistri

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Man Utd News

“When you are a kid, you don’t imagine [playing in the Champions League], but now it’s real. I’m very happy for this opportunity,” Facundo Pellistri told the Manchester United official website in what was his first interview with the club after signing for the Red Devils on the deadline day of the latest summer transfer window.

His excitement was mirrored rightly on his face. Why won’t he be excited? Manchester United, as he said ‘one the biggest clubs’ just triggered his release clause of £10m in the eleventh hour of the transfer window.

Furthermore, the young Uruguayan was given the No. 28 shirt, the one Cristiano Ronaldo asked for after arriving from Sporting C.P. in the summer of 2003.

And on top of that, the 18-year-old has already been included in the Champions League’s 25-man squad.

We never heard his name before October. Now, he’s tracked by every tabloid. Who is Pellistri? Is he worth the hype? What could United fans expect from the former Penarol winger?

Player Profile:

Currently, 18, Pellistri is a right-footed right-winger but has also played on the left flank at times.

Born in Montevideo, Pellistri, as revealed by The Athletic, is a decent speaker of the English language — unlike his new club-mate and compatriot Edinson Cavani, who, however, has been learning English bit by bit — and belongs to a ‘supportive and settled family’.

A direct option:

Once coached by former Manchester United hero Diego Forlan at Penarol, Pellistri is believed to be a healthy runner both on and off the ball. It means his attacking output replicates his heavy defensive involvement and work rate.

The young Uruguayan loves making direct runs at the opposition defenders. One might think that he is more of a flamboyant crosser rather than a shooter as he’s usually deployed on the right flank. However. the equation with Pellistri is totally different. His quick left feet help him dribble and cut into central advanced areas with ease.

He can also make runs from outside of the pitch and then create space for full-backs to get into the sideline areas.

‘Mischievous’ feet and flexible body:

While asked about his perception on the 18-year-old, Edinson Cavani said,

“He’s the typical South American footballer who has that mischievous nature to his game, and the way he lives his football is a bit like, as we say in Uruguay, being on ‘el campito’, as we call it, a makeshift pitch where you have a kickabout for fun with your mates or whoever.”

He is not a gigantic forward by any means. He is 5’7 — the same as football’s one of the greatest, Lionel Messi. Due to his relatively smaller stature, he gets the help of his low centre of gravity, allowing his body to be more flexible. This helps him get granular control of the ball – making him a threatening dribbler.

It also allows him to perform twists and turns at ease with or without the ball. Some might say it doesn’t work in England but it’s always good to have diversity in your skillset.

Exciting first-touch:

While judging a player, especially a forward, one of the many pivotal things that you look forward is his first-touch or the technique he uses to receive a pass.

It’s too early to make definitive statements but his performance against the Everton U23s suggested he has a sublime first touch. [read more on his debut performance]

While watching troves of footage of his Penarol days, Pellistri also uses first-touch to get past defenders. However, his high-risk appetite results in losing the ball most of the time. Pellistri won’t be given the same margin of error as he was provided with at Penarol.

Superb Speed:

The next thing that comes right after receiving the ball is his blazing acceleration.

Not only does his speed help the team offensively, but also it adds a unique substance that allows him to track back opposition attackers while defending.

Dan James is probably the fastest forward in United’s current squad. We do not know how Pellistri fare against him but the Uruguyan has a technical edge over the Welshman.

Passing and Shooting:

All’s not well for Pellistri. He’s not a finished product yet. He needs to work a lot to improve his finishing as well as passing.

In his senior career at Penarol, Pellistri racked up only two goals and four assists from 37 appearances, showcasing his lack of end product.

Pellistri needs to improve his decision-making ability. In England, players get very little time to make a decision. There’s no use in dribbling past defenders if you cannot choose whether to shoot or pick a pass.

Improving shooting and passing accuracy is about the experience and upgrading of your footballing IQ. Solskjaer has suggested Pellistri will play with the youth-setup for a while and get accustomed to the new country.

Conclusion:

Pellistri seems to be a natural right-winger, who could be used on the left-wing but occasionally as well as a ‘No. 10’. He is fast, agile, and carries the ball well from one end of the pitch to the other end of the pitch.

However, he lacks stability with his goalscoring attributes — the area that needs major refurbishment. And Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a generational finisher of the ball, is not a bad tutor to learn from either. The likes of Rashford, Fernandes, Cavani, and Martial could play a big role in grooming him too.

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