Facundo Pellistri thinks he has gained Erik ten Hag’s confidence now that he has made his full debut for Manchester United.
Pellistri’s 892-day wait for a first United start ended in the Europa League round of 16 victory against Real Betis in Seville, where he played the full 90 minutes.
Prior to his promotion, the 21-year-old had made just six guest appearances – all this calendar year – after arriving on transfer deadline day in October 2020 from Penarol in a £9 million deal.
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“I’m very happy,” said Pellistri. “I’m really working for this moment, luckily we could win. It was our mission. We came here to win, we could win.
“The manager really trusts me, so I felt that trust from him. He told me to run after, get the ball and enjoy, enjoy the moment.”
“And of course we came here to win. We really liked the long balls in the second half. Marcus was able to score there and we took the win.
“Hopefully this is the start of this. Of course I’m hungry. A lot of players in the group are really hungry, we have one great group. We’re all pushing to the same side. Hopefully, at the end of the season, we can win a lot of trophies. “
Pellistri was told he would start on Tuesday, which gave him plenty of time to make sure his father and girlfriend, Cami Garcia, would be there. “Yes, I managed to get my dad and my girlfriend here. They were at the stadium. So they really enjoyed themselves.”
“And yes, I knew it two days ago when we were preparing for the game. And like I said, we came here to win. Although the result at Old Trafford was very good for us. We came here to win because We are Man United and we have to win every game.”
Pellistri was sent off for his debut against League One Charlton in the League Cup in January, but Ten Hag has since introduced him in more testing encounters against Leeds – as United trailed 2-0 – and in the goalless draw with Southampton as United finished a man was. down.
With Alejandro Garnacho sidelined with an ankle injury until April at the earliest and Antony absent from Sevilla due to illness, Pellistri could be in line for a first home start in the FA Cup quarter-final against Fulham on Sunday.
“Any player, we are ready to play,” Pellistri stressed. “We are in a very good, good team, one of the biggest in the world, so you have to be ready.
“And yes, unfortunately this is football and Alejandro had an injury and the same thing happened to me a few weeks earlier. So yes, we have to be ready because you never know when your chance is. Like I told you, we are in such a big club that we have to be ready for.”
United have tentatively scheduled Pellistri to leave on loan next season for more regular playing time, after a summer loan move fell through when he suffered a foot injury in United’s penultimate pre-season friendly against Atletico Madrid in Oslo.
Pellistri has not ruled out accepting another loan spell next term, having already spent two spells with Alaves. “When you play at a club like Manchester United, of course you always want to be here. And we are very early to think about that.”
“So now I’m focused on helping the team and to win, the more trophies we can get this season. Then we’ll see what happens.”
United are favorites to triumph in the Europa League with Arsenal now knocked out and they are planning a return to Wembley with a win over Fulham this weekend.
United supporters chanted ‘We’ve seen it all, we’ve won a lot, we’re Man United and we’re never going to stop’ and that struck a chord with Pellistri.
“We want to win everything, like the song the fans sing!” he laughed. “We want to win everything. That’s why we prepare and train hard and that’s it. We want to win every game and every prize.”
And can he recite any other hymns? “I’m still learning! I like that one the most!”