Manchester United wonderkid Facundo Pellistri has given Ole Gunnar Solskjaer something to think about after scoring again for the under-23s.
The 18-year-old winger was signed with an eye on the future when he joined the Red Devils from Penarol in his native Uruguay on the final day of the summer transfer window.
While United and City’s senior stars struggled to carve out chances in a dour Manchester derby at Old Trafford, there was no such problem for their younger counterparts, who drew 2-2 in a Premier League 2 match.
Pellistri fired United into a 2-1 lead with a composed finish after Ethan Galbraith scored from the spot to cancel out a City opener from James McAtee.
There was disappointment for United’s U23s as Taylor Harwood-Bellis equalised to earn a point for City’s elite development squad.
But Pellestri will be happy after scoring a third goal in three games for the reserves over a nine-day spell as he stakes a claim for more involvement with the first team.
And he will have been encouraged by Solskjaer’s recent comments about his progress, when the United boss confirmed he was more than happy to delve into the club’s youth ranks to enhance the first-team squad.
“Facundo has come in, trained with the first-team and done well,” said Solskjaer earlier this month.
“We felt now is the time for him to get game-time and he’s played a couple of games in the reserves. He’s gradually settling in nicely and getting more and more used to us.”
Pellestri has already been on the bench for two Champions League games, and is only a couple of months younger than Mason Greenwood, who enjoyed a breakthrough campaign at United last season.
After opening his United account in a 3-1 win over Southampton’s reserves earlier this month, Pellestri said: “It was amazing [to score].
“I was really looking forward to this goal. It is my first goal and I’m really happy with it. Hopefully, more are coming.
“I’m settling in much better. I am enjoying my time here in Manchester, in this club – with the Under-23s and with the first team.
“My team-mates are very kind with me and this is a very important reason why I am feeling much better with my performances and life here.”
Pellestri also netted in an EFL Trophy defeat to Accrington Stanley last week.
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