Ten Hag performs U-turn on wantaway Man Utd star

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • 20 Jan 2023 21:46 GMT
  • 4 min read
Erik ten Hag, Manchester United, Transfers, 2022/23

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is set to allow Facundo Pellistri leave the club on loan just days after indicating that the Uruguay international would be going nowhere.

Pellistri has endured a frustrating period at Man Utd, where he was hailed as the next big thing as he arrived for €8.5 million from Penarol in 2020.

Instead of starring at Old Trafford, though, he was shipped out on successive loan deals to Alaves. Indeed, he has played only once for the Red Devils’ first team, in an EFL Cup match against Charlton earlier this month, during which he created a goal in only six minutes on the field.

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Nevertheless, he has regularly appeared on the bench, only to stay among the substitutes, despite being a regular for Uruguay at the 2022 World Cup.

“It’s clear that Manchester United want him to stay at the club. However, we need him to play,” Pellistri’s agent Edgardo Lasalvia told Sport890 in Uruguay. “He’s got many offers in Europe.”

Although Ten Hag has previously indicated that Pellistri will be going nowhere, his stance appears to have softened.

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According to O Globo, Man Utd are in advanced talks with Brazilian outfit Flamengo over a potential loan move, with an approach from Botafogo knocked back because the club would not meet the Premier League side’s demands.

This is a decision that is likely to frustrate fans of the Red Devils, many of whom believe that Anthony Elanga is the fringe player who should be shipped out temporarily.

Facundo Pellistri

Facundo Pellistri

Ten Hag’s comments on Pellistri

Certainly, it contravenes Ten Hag’s previous stance on Pellistri.

Speaking to Man Utd’s official website, he talked up the contribution that the player made on debut: “It was just 10 minutes [he played], but he made a really good impression.

He had to wait a long time for it because you have to deserve the game-time in our squad. There are others who also deserved it who didn't even come on.

“He worked for a long time and he proved himself. He showed., in that moment, that he was ready.

I’m happy with his development... and we think he has a future here at Manchester United.
- Erik ten Hag

“He had some really good actions, he was lively and he got the assist but also [he gave a] good contribution in terms of defending, he was reliable and he took the responsibility.

“I am happy with that performance and I’m happy with his development, we brought him in [to the team] and we think he has a future here at Manchester United.”

Pellistri may have a future at Man Utd as Ten Hag says – but it may be that it is not until next season.