Erik ten Hag reached his first semifinal in English football after Manchester United overcame Charlton Athletic 3-0 on Tuesday.
While the victory was secured through an Antony strike in the first-half and a late double from in-form Marcus Rashford, the main talking point from the game was Facundo Pellistri‘s long-awaited debut.
The Uruguayan is a strange case. He has over double digit caps for Uruguay and has even played in the World Cup without making his United debut in two-and-a-half seasons.
Pellistri, a new star is finally born
While he was raw when first acquired, it has been clear for sometime now that he is a much better option on the right flank than Anthony Elanga.
And The Athletic picked three incidents which showed why United had decided to fork out an initial £8 million for the youngster from Penarol back in 2020.
That was a Perfect Pellistri cameo last night 👏🤩pic.twitter.com/8Wx6xLPOEJ
— United Galactico 🏴 (@galactico_mufc) January 11, 2023
He came on in the 80th minute with the game stretched, the perfect time for a pacey winger to make an impact.
Harry Maguire‘s defensive header started a counter-attacking opportunity and Pellistri’s ‘elastico’ skill move had the Old Trafford faithful cooing in delight.
His assist was a thing of beauty as well. Casemiro’s pass to find him was sublime and then he ran straight at the heart of the defence with the defenders back-tracking.
A young and greedy young player would have tried to go for the glory but Pellistri calmly found Rashford with an inch-perfect through ball that the Mancunian finished off in style.
While that showed his maturity beyond his years, his defensive action that followed after the goal was his most impressive bit of play by far.
An assist & mature play to round it off
He calmly evaded a couple of challenges in the box, turned back and allowed the attack to restart from a dangerous situation. This type of play was not expected from a young attacker.
A debut after 827 days of waiting seemed worth it in the end and now Erik ten Hag has quite the decision to make with regards to Pellistri’s immediate future.
The Uruguay international is garnering a lot of loan interest — from La Liga to the Brazilian league as well as from the Championship.
He certainly has shown that he deserves to stay and fight for his place in just 10 minutes of first-team action. Fans want to see what more he can produce if he does remain at the club this season.
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