It is time for us to return to looking at the Manchester United players and their performances last season. Our season ending review is now taking a closer look at two players who had different roles in the previous season – Alex Telles and Facundo Pellistri.
Alex Telles – New Left-Back Option
Man United have craved for a new left back during the first part of 2020, partly becuse Luke SHaw’s performances back then were not at such a great level and he was not always healthy. The backup option was only young Brandon Williams and Man United decided to sign Alex Telles. The Brazilian joined Man United on the last day of the last year’s transfer window, arriving at Old Trafford on 5 October. That is much later than deals usually happen and Telles was unlucky that Shaw managed to get into the best form of his career. Telles made 24 appearances across all competitions, but playing around 1750 minutes in total. He made nine appearances in the Premier League, seven in Europa League and four in the Champions Leageu. There are were also few displays in two domestic cup competiitons and Telles’ total was four assists. He missed a handful of games due to corona virus but it is interesting to see how he fared in terms of underlying metrics.
Telles did very well in the areas of progressive passes, total passes attempted and shot-creating chances. According to FBref, he ended up in the 85th percentile or higher in all three of those categories, meaning he did very well among Premier League full-backs. He was managing to do plenty when in possession of the ball, including creating chances which was not easy in the limited time he had in the league. He also did fine in terms of defensive work, having 1.63 interceptions per 90 minutes. Where he failed though, was his off the ball movement in terms of pressing his opponents and moving the ball further up the pitch by carrying the ball himself (just 4.09 progressive carries per 90, finishing in 37th percentile). This next season is not going to be easy for him either, considering how Luke Shaw is playing at the Euros, but the campaign is very long and the England international will definitely be in need of some rest at certain points of the season.
Facundo Pellistri – Youngster On Loan
Man United signed another player on 5 October last year and that was Uruguayan teenager Facundo Pellistri. He arrived from Penarol on a deal worth around 8.5 million euros and he will turn 20 only this December. He had spent his first six months in Manchester and it was not a surprise he only got some playing time in Premier League 2 and EFL Trophy. He scored three goals in eight games and in January he left on a six-month loan to Alaves.
While in LaLiga, Pellistri did not manage to score a single goal in 12 appearances. It is worth noting he had spent just 539 minutes on the pitch, mostly at right wing and while he was in Spain, he played only two games for 85 minutes or more. Also, he had some muscular probles in late April, after which he did not get much playing time, usually returning to action coming on as a substitute. It will be interesting to see what plans Man United have made for the youngster.