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“They have to battle”- Erik ten Hag sends message to Manchester United youngster returning from injury

Manchester United 'plan to offer' Facundo Pellistri a new contract.
Manchester United 'plan to offer' Facundo Pellistri a new contract. (Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

Erik ten Hag wants Facundo Pellistri to “convince” him for more game time at Manchester United

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag wants youngster Facundo Pellistri to “convince” him of a berth in the team. The competition in the team makes it challenging for the 20-year-old to get a lot of opportunities.

The South American signed for the Red Devils from Uruguayan outfit Penarol in the summer of 2020. However, since then, the forward has not been able to carve a place for himself in the team. Subsequently, he has spent time on loan at Alaves.

Pellistri was seemingly expected to leave on loan once again in the recent transfer window. However, fitness issues hampered the 20-year-old’s chances to get more game time elsewhere.

Erik ten Hag wants Facundo Pellistri to "convince" him for more game time at Manchester United.
Erik ten Hag wants Facundo Pellistri to convince him to feature for Manchester United. (Photographer: Ash Donelon)

Speaking to the media via Manchester Evening News, Ten Hag has warned the youngster of the tough task ahead of him to get on the pitch.

“He was injured, a long period against Atletico Madrid. Bad injury. So he is now returning.

“We have young players in the background in the offensive positions, quite good competition there. They have to battle for it and to convince us and to convince me they deserve to be in the team. So he’s one of the options.”

Pellistri picked up an ankle injury against Atletico Madrid during pre-season in Oslo. Subsequently, the forward was ruled out and spent time on the sidelines. He has returned to the bench this month. However, he has not gotten on the pitch for the Red Devils.

Currently, the likes of Antony, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford are the players Erik ten Hag has preferred to deploy on the wings. The trio have been mainstays in the Dutch manager’s team.

Other options at Ten Hag’s disposal are Anthony Elnaga and Alejandra Garnacho. The gaffer can also deploy Cristiano Ronaldo and Anthony Martial on the wings.

Thus, Pellistri has a mammoth task ahead of him to prove his worth. With six games left before the mid-season break due to the World Cup, it seems unlikely that the Uruguayan will be handed enough minutes.

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However, the January window will present another opportunity for United and the 20-year-old to reassess his situation. Whether a loan move in the winter is on the cards for the youngster remains to be seen.

Written by Aheed Abrar

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