How Marcelo Bielsa is preparing Facundo Pellistri for Manchester United opportunity

A gap has opened up on the right side of United&aposs front three, following confirmation that Antony will take a leave of absence to address ongoing allegations of abuse, which he denies. Jadon Sancho would normally deputise, but the very public fallout between him and Erik ten Hag leaves his place in doubt.

And so when United host Brighton at Old Trafford on Saturday, they may do so with Pellistri as the only natural option on the right. Ten Hag is clearly a fan of the 21-year-old but is yet to start him in a Premier League match.

Pellistri is one of several players away on international duty and the young winger is seemingly enjoying the chance to play under the enigmatic Uruguay manager Marcelo Bielsa. The former Leeds boss took on the role earlier this year and looks to have the Reds youngster at the core of his plans.

Pellistri started on Saturday evening as Uruguay beat Chile 3-1 in their first 2026 World Cup qualifier. And after full-time, he detailed his learnings under the legendary coach.

Nahitan [Nandez] (Uruguay teammate) makes it much easier for me in terms of overflows because he is constantly overflowing and passing me,” Pellistri told ESPN on Sunday. “So it makes it easier for me and I can give it to him so that he can shoot the centre.

I take a role a little more inside. The dynamic of the team, once the ball is recovered, is to go with many players on the attack, so more than anything the ones who overwhelm the most are the full-backs.

He [Bielsa] talks to us a lot individually, shows us corrections and wants a very dynamic team, with fast players, and to go out and press and triangulate quickly. It says a lot to me that he generates spaces behind the defence.

“He also really wants us to come back to help the defence and be a team together, so I think that was a bit of what was seen against Chile: the explosiveness when it comes to attacking when it recovers and also when it comes to having to defend.

Bielsa&aposs exacting methods will benefit Pellistri&aposs development, with Ten Hag the other major beneficiary. When it comes to wingers, the United manager has two non-negotiables: that they are devastating in transition and hard-working defensively.