Manchester United undroppable could decide Facundo Pellistri’s future – George Smith

The majority of this current international break has seen Jadon Sancho dominate the headlines, following his decision to hit back at Erik ten Hag after being left out of the squad for the 3-1 defeat to Arsenal just over a week ago. The winger was not included in the travelling party after failing to impress the United manager in training.

Instead of saying nothing and using Ten Hag&aposs comments as motivational fuel to try and wrestle his place back, Sancho went on the attack, hitting back in a social media post that has now been viewed more than 62.2million times on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Since Sancho issued that aforementioned statement just before 8:30pm on Sunday 3, Ten Hag, because of the international break, has not spoken to the media since. It will be the main talking point when he sits down with the press pack later this week.

Ten Hag, however, will almost certainly focus his energy on the clash with Brighton. Getting three points against the Seagulls will be the Dutchman&aposs primary aim at the start of what will be a big week.

United have three fixtures in the space of just eight days, facing Brighton and Burnley in the Premier League either side of a trip to Germany to face Bayern Munich in their Champions League opener. Three fixtures in such a short space of time means rotation is a given.

The season is only just over a month old and some players are still increasing their fitness levels. Depending on what Ten Hag decides to do with Sancho, however, United might not have the option to rotate too much on their right flank.

Sancho&aposs situation remains a mystery, Antony is currently out of the equation, Amad is still sidelined through injury and Alejandro Garnacho and Marcus Rashford are more fruitful on the left. Taking all of those situations into account, the door has never been opened wider for Facundo Pellistri.

The Uruguayan, who is a throwback to a winger of yesteryear, often hungry to take on his man, beat him and dig out a cross, is the most logical contender to start on the right and earn his very first Premier League start. He has made two substitute appearances so far this season and impacted both games, albeit briefly against Tottenham Hotspur.

He has earned the right to be awarded a chance, almost three years since he arrived at Old Trafford from FC Penarol. He has shown tremendous levels of patience and he deserves to be rewarded with just a second start for the club against the Seagulls.

United desperately need to generate positive headlines this weekend, and their best chance of doing so will be by securing a positive result, accompanied by a much-improved performance. Pellistri&aposs positive style of play ought to give them the lift they&aposre in need of.

His direct approach promises to get bums off seats and increase volume levels. United&aposs supporters are desperate for him to be given a chance and an opportunity to inject something different into the team.

Though there is a clamour for Pellistri to be given the nod, he has been overlooked in the past when the door has opened. Ten Hag has experimented, just like any other manager, in multiple ways since arriving in M16 last year and has trialled various methods, one of which has seen Bruno Fernandes deployed on the right wing.

Fernandes played out wide on several occasions last season, particularly against the big hitters, enabling United to beef up their midfield with an extra body and have more balance. Brighton, though they are one of the most eye-catching and best teams in the Premier League, are not in the same bracket as Liverpool or Manchester City.

But with Sofyan Amrabat, Scott McTominay and potentially Mason Mount all eyeing spots in midfield, Ten Hag could push Fernandes out wide to accommodate an extra man in midfield. That, however, may suggest that United are fearful of Brighton and would create increased negativity. It is an approach that would be more understandable against Bayern four days later.