Ten Hag ‘blocks’ Man Utd January exit as player saves Old Trafford career with impressive turn around

Erik ten Hag, Man Utd training at the Aon Training Complex, Carrington Credit: Alamy
Erik ten Hag, Man Utd training at the Aon Training Complex, Carrington Credit: Alamy

Manchester United winger Facundo Pellistri will not be going out on loan this month after manager Erik ten Hag ‘blocked’ such a transfer, according to reports.

Pellistri joined Man Utd in October 2020, with the Red Devils paying Penarol £9million for him. The wide man, who likes to play on the right flank, took time to adjust to life in England and as a result did not make his Man Utd debut during the first half of the 2020-21 campaign.

He was sent out on loan to Spanish club Alaves, with Man Utd officials hoping he would pick up some senior experience there. Pellistri made 12 appearances in La Liga that season, though he did not register a goal or assist.

He spent the whole of the following season on loan with Alaves, too. 23 appearances came his way in all competitions, though once again Pellistri failed to chip in with a goal contribution.

The Uruguayan returned to Man Utd in the summer as Ten Hag wanted to take a look at him.

And Pellistri was finally handed his debut for the club recently, over two years after originally joining. Ten Hag gave him a substitute appearance in the Carabao Cup match against Charlton Athletic.

Pellistri came on with six minutes of normal time remaining and left a good impression. With Man Utd already 1-0 up, Pellistri helped them to get their second in the 90th minute. He received the ball out wide from Casemiro and cut inside before sending Marcus Rashford through on goal with a perfectly-weighted pass. Rashford finished that chance and went on to net another as Man Utd ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.

Despite the 21-year-old putting in an impressive cameo against Charlton, he was recently linked with a loan move elsewhere. On January 11, The Telegraph revealed Watford were looking into a temporary deal to sign him.

Ten Hag to reject loan approaches for attacker

But it looks like Pellistri will be remaining in Manchester for the rest of the season. According to the Daily Mirror’s live transfer blog (16/01, at 10:15), which cites reports coming out of Brazil, Ten Hag has ‘blocked’ any loan for Pellistri this month. This includes Watford’s approach.

The Dutch coach believes Pellistri can play a role for Man Utd over the next few months. He will help them as they aim to move up the Premier League table and win a trophy. They remain in the Europa League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

Pellistri is unlikely to start many games, given the fact Antony is Ten Hag’s preferred right winger. But Pellistri could get game time when Ten Hag opts to rest Antony. This will happen either late in matches or during less competitive games.

Pellistri will be hoping to emulate Alejandro Garnacho. He has burst onto the scene for Man Utd this term, making a real claim that he should be starting on the left flank.

He pretty much always puts in exciting performances by running at his marker and trying to get balls in the box. Garnacho is contributing to goals, too. His record stands at two goals and five assists in 15 appearances this campaign.

If Pellistri can get close to Garnacho’s electric displays, then he should make a good impression on both the Man Utd faithful and Ten Hag.

This would show there is real life in his Old Trafford career, which has previously been questioned.

Meanwhile, Man Utd might be able to sign an England star after he changed the parameters for his next move.

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