Owen Hargreaves: What I really think of Donny van de Beek at Man United

Facundo Pellistri will have been sat on the bench at Old Trafford on Tuesday night wondering if his number was going to be called. United we...

Facundo Pellistri will have been sat on the bench at Old Trafford on Tuesday night wondering if his number was going to be called.

United were cruising against Istanbul Basaksehir, and with five substitutes available, there seemed a chance Pellistri could make his debut… in the Champions League.

That particular dream will have to wait. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gradually used up his allotment of substitutes and Pellistri was not among them.

Perhaps the plan was to send Pellistri on for the final minutes as the fifth, but Istanbul pulling a goal back and then hitting the bar prompted Solskjaer to bring on Nemanja Matic to steer United back on course. Suddenly it had not become a moment for experimentation.

While that was disappointing for fans hoping to get a glimpse of the new signing in action, it was the right call.

To give Pellistri his debut so quickly would have been a nice gesture, but he is not ready just yet.

And it would all come a little too easy, right after his first assist for the under-23s.

Perhaps the plan was to send Pellistri on for the final minutes as the fifth, but Istanbul pulling a goal back and then hitting the bar prompted Solskjaer to bring on Nemanja Matic to steer United back on course. Suddenly it had not become a moment for experimentation.

While that was disappointing for fans hoping to get a glimpse of the new signing in action, it was the right call.

To give Pellistri his debut so quickly would have been a nice gesture, but he is not ready just yet.

And it would all come a little too easy, right after his first assist for the under-23s.

If United do beat PSG in the next group game, the final match with Leipzig could see plenty of rotation. That may be a moment for Pellistri to come in, if the team has already qualified.

Pellistri’s first team debut will come. He was unlucky it wasn’t this week, but the club have laid down the gauntlet to him.

If he can build on his promising under-23 display at the weekend, he might soon be able to start showcasing his ability at Old Trafford.


 

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