The Dutchman is keen on reviving the career of Facundo Pellistri after the young Uruguayan has struggled to kick on since joining Manchester United under two years ago
Still only 20 years of age, the Uruguayan international is highly rated in his home country but has failed to deliver since arriving in Europe. A disappointing loan spell with La Liga outfit Alaves has not helped his prospects of cementing his status as a first-team regular at Old Trafford.
Pellistri played 21 games for the Spanish outfit last term, but did not score a goal all season. To make matters worse, assists also passed him by and the campaign concluded without a single goal contribution.
With that being said, he was only granted 750 minutes of game-time over the course of the campaign. Despite this, Ten Hag is keen on giving him an equal opportunity to stake his claim.
The wide-man has had his chances helped by the mass attacking exodus United have suffered this summer, with the likes of Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Edinson Cavani all now free agents following the expiration of their respective contracts.
The latter of the aforementioned trio arrived at Old Trafford on the same day as the winger and previously waxed lyrical about his former fellow United teammate.
“Pellistri is a young lad and I really love the way he plays the game,” he told the club’s official website. “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.
“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.”
Uruguay national team coach Diego Alonso praised the mentality of Pellistri as the young winger gears up for the most important pre-season of his career to date.
Reflecting on handing the winger his debut earlier this year, Alonso said: “I thought that the characteristics that Pellistri has could help us a lot with the game that we want to implement. From there, I told him what I wanted from him, what I did value in him and then the one who gave the rest was him.
“He came here when he was 20 years old, he put on the starting shirt of the senior team and he played the way he played – That speaks much better about him than about me.”
The comments will make for welcome reading from Ten Hag’s perspective as the new United manager can take comfort from the fact Pellistri’s attitude needs no adjustment.