Sheffield United are in discussions regarding a potential loan agreement with Manchester United’s winger Facundo Pellistri, according to the Telegraph.
The 21-year-old player is being eyed for a spot in Paul Heckingbottom’s squad for the upcoming campaign. The Blades have taken the initiative to pursue the young forward who represented his country, Uruguay, in the World Cup last year.
Pellistri’s potential loan to Sheffield United could make him one of the most notable promising players seeking a loan deal from Old Trafford. Erik Ten Hag is thoughtfully evaluating players with Premier League first-team experience as he contemplates who to grant a transfer opportunity.
While Watford in the Championship expressed interest in Pellistri last season, he ultimately remained with Man United. He managed to make 10 appearances in the latter half of the campaign. He had previous loan stints at Alaves in Spain, although he didn’t make many appearances.
With the Blades shaping the progression of young attacking talent such as Morgan Gibbs-White, Tommy Doyle and James McAtee in recent seasons, big Premier League clubs see Sheffield United as a good place to send their promising players. And it looks like the Red Devils trust Paul Heckingbottom and his staff to get the best out of the Uruguayan international in their attempt to avoid relegation.
Where could he fit in?
Pellistri started out as a number 10, but then when he signed for Man United he converted to a winger. During his Alaves loan spells, he would play as an attacking midfielder mostly, so that is probably his preferred position.
After watching some of his appearances for Manchester United in pre-season, he has shown tendencies of an attacking midfielder when he’s positioned as a winger. Often, in the build up phase of play, he plays short and effective one-two’s, and his movement after the initial pass is always to a more central area or into the halfspaces.
He is very direct once he receives the ball. There isn’t much dallying around on his part, if he has the opportunity to run at an opponent, he’ll take it up. Pellistri is one of those attacking players that won’t perform a flashy bit of skill to beat a man. Instead, he uses his burst of acceleration and sublime touch to dribble beyond his opponents.
Another tendency I have seen in his playing style is that he will look for the ball to feet from his defenders, with his back to goal. And he receives the ball on the half turn and evades the press. This is something Iliman Ndiaye did often, and perhaps something that has specifically attracted United to the Uruguayan.
Lastly, bringing in Facundo Pellistri would give us the option of playing 5-4-1, 5-2-1-2 and 5-2-3. If the Blades was to get the deal over the line for Pellistri, I think playing him as an attacking midfielder in a 5-2-1-2 would improve the mechanics of the team, on the ball, as well as off it.
5-2-1-2 would increase our chances of securing high turnovers when we commit to a high press. And with a strong and tenacious double pivot behind Pellistri, I think it would suit them down to a tee.