Four wins on the bounce including the scalps of heavyweights Liverpool and Arsenal as well as two clean sheets away from home have lifted spirits at Manchester United.
But now the focus has to shift to the Europa League and the competition brings its own set of challenges which includes Thursday night football as well as unknown teams.
United’s group includes La Liga side Real Sociedad, who are expected to be the toughest opposition in the group, and Cypriot club Omonia Nicosia and Moldovan outfit Sheriff Tiraspol.
None of them can be underestimated and Erik ten Hag will be drilling these thoughts into his players ahead of Thursday’s home encounter against La Real.
Diego Alonso states that Facundo Pellistri is expected to be back fit for Uruguay's friendlies at the end of September. pic.twitter.com/43Gbiwigyd
— Warriors of Uruguay (@UruguayanHeroes) September 5, 2022
The ideal plan will be to start strong while rotating in key areas and once qualification has been secured, chances can then be given to academy graduates to see whether a loan move is required in January.
Pellistri might finally get his chance
But an ankle injury suffered during the penultimate game of pre-season against Atletico Madrid meant that chance passed him by and he was left stuck on the recuperating table at Carrington.
But now, according to El Pais, the 20-year-old is in “the final stretch of his recovery process” and that is why the Red Devils have named him in their Europa League squad.
The publication believes this indicates that Ten Hag wants to see him in action during the course of the group stage before deciding what to do with him January.
“For Pellistri it could mean his debut in a tournament of these characteristics on the Old Continent,” the article mentions.
Even his national team is keeping tabs on him and “Diego Alonso added him to the list of 41 players reserved for the Uruguayan team’s friendlies against Iran and Canada to be played this month.”
United’s October schedule is chock-a-block with 10 fixtures to contend with and it is likely that if Pellistri proves himself in training, he might get a chance.
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