‘He could give this team something really different’ - Man Utd legends back winger to shine on first start

Erik ten Hag’s side travel to Seville to face Real Betis in the UEFA Europa League this evening.

Facundo Pellistri will make his first start for Manchester United in Thursday’s Europa League match with Real Betis, two and a half years after signing for the club.

The winger, who featured heavily for Uruguay at the World Cup finals in Qatar last year, arrived at Old Trafford in October 2020 from Peñarol for a fee of £9 million. He spent the next two seasons on loan at La Liga side Alavés before returning to United to link up with the first team this season.

He has made six first team appearances for United this season but all have been as a substitute with two coming in the Carabao Cup, two in the Premier League and one each in the FA Cup and the Europa League. His impact off the bench in the first leg against Real Betis was his best performance of the bunch and was capped off with a great assist for Wout Weghorst’s goal - the fourth in their 4-1 win.

As part of BT Sport’s pre-match build up to the game, two United legends have said they expect the 21-year old to shine in tonight’s match against the Spanish club. Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves were in the studio to discuss Erik Ten Hag’s team selection and believe the winger has the opportunity to be a real handful for Betis.

Scholes said: “Over recent performances he probably deserves his chance. He came on last week and made the fourth goal by sheer pace down the side. He’ll be a different type of player to Anthony, I don’t think he’s as tricky or fancy or one to cut inside, he’s very much an old fashioned winger with real pace going down the outside and getting crosses in and that might help Weghorst. If Weghorst is the man in the middle he can provide a cross for him, he’s that apple of a player.”

Hargreaves added: “He’s so quick and when you’re quick you want to be able to use your speed. They (Real Betis) looked a little bit frightened of him. I Know he didn’t play very long but the impact he had, I thought he looked great and I thought he looked really good for Uruguay at the World Cup. I think United fans will be excited to see him, Garnacho has come in and had a huge impact but I think Pellistri could give this team something really different. Scholesy is right, hopefully there will be bodies in the box because it feels like he’ll be there putting crosses in.”