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Facundo Pellistri given harsh welcome to English football on Man Utd debut

Teenage winger Facundo Pellistri made his first appearance in a Manchester United shirt on Friday, with the youngster offering glimpses of his talent in an Under-23s clash with Everton.

Pellistri lined up alongside fellow newcomer Alvaro Fernandez and senior players like Brandon Williams and Marcos Rojo, helping the Red Devils secure a 2-1 win.

The 18-year-old, who was an unused substitute in United’s 2-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday, was given a harsh welcome to English football.

He was the subject of a number of tough challenges, with Beni Baningime and Seb Quirk both getting booked for tackles on Pellistri.

Facundo Pellistri made his first appearance for Manchester United, representing the Under-23s

Asked about Pellistri’s performance in his post-match interview, United’s Under-23s boss Neil Wood said: “It was ‘welcome to England!’

“But it was great for him to get 90 minutes on the pitch and a first taste of English football. I’m sure he can build from this experience.”

Williams added: “Facundo’s done very well since coming in. He doesn’t speak that much English but he’s learning. He’ll kick on from this and I’ll be here to help him if I can. I enjoyed playing with him.”

Pellistri was on the receiving end of some big challenges

Pellistri has been earmarked as one for the future by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his Uruguayan compatriot and fellow United new boy Edinson Cavani is a big fan.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Cavani said: “Pellistri is a young lad and I really love the way he plays the game.

“He’s the typical South American footballer who has that mischievous nature to his game, and the way he lives his football is a bit like, as we say in Uruguay, being on el campito , as we call it, a makeshift pitch where you have a kickabout for fun with your mates or whoever.

Facundo Pellistri, Brandon Williams and Marcos Rojo all featured on Friday
Pellistri featured alongside senior players like Marcos Rojo and Brandon Williams

“He’s a youngster who has a lot to learn but who has a lot to offer too. He’s already shown what he can do at Peñarol, in the games where he’s featured. I’ve liked him from the moment he made his first-team debut at Peñarol, I liked him a lot.

“He’s coming here to the club, without a doubt determined to learn and mature as a player, but also to make a good contribution here himself.

“Learning his trade here is also going to be a great experience for him. So it’s going to be good meeting up with him and travelling together on this journey in this new chapter for us both.”

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