Matias Vina of Nacional and Facundo Pellistri vie for the ball during the Uruguayan Clausura tournament final football match between Penarol and Nacional, at Centenario stadium in Montevideo, on December 11, 2019. (Photo by EITAN ABRAMOVICH / AFP) (Photo by EITAN ABRAMOVICH/AFP via Getty Images)

According to a recent report by Spanish news outlet AS, Premier League giants Manchester City are said to be keeping tabs on the progress of Penarol’s prodigious Uruguayan winger Facundo Pellistri. The report suggests that the Citizens are amongst a host of top European clubs that are interested in the youngster’s signature, including Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Wolves, Valencia, and Boca Juniors, just to name a few.

The report suggests that the youngster, at 18, is already being considered the likely successor to the highly coveted number ten shirt in the Uruguayan national team.

It has also been clarified in the report that Real Madrid’s interest was triggered initially by their chief scout Juni Calafat, who was responsible for the brilliant signing of Federico Valverde from the same club back in 2015. Former Atletico Madrid ace Diego Forlan is the youngster’s coach at the Uruguayan club, and the striker is quoted to have said, “He’s very young and we’re enjoying having him with us.”

Scouting Penarol Ace Facundo Pellistri

How Did Facundo Pellistri Make A Name For Himself?

The 18-year-old was born in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo, back in the winter of 2001. Having begun his youth career with local clubs La Picada and River Plate Montevideo, the youngster went on to join his current employers back in 2018. It was in August last year that the winger made his first-team debut for Penarol, and in just 17 appearances for the club, he’s caught the attention of some of the mightiest clubs in the world.

Manchester City’s Spanish manager Pep Guardiola celebrates on the pitch after the English League Cup final football match between Aston Villa and Manchester City at Wembley stadium in London on March 1, 2020. – Manchester City won the game 2-1. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Breaking Down Facundo Pellistri’s Attributes

The Uruguayan winger has come to be known for his ability to dribble past challenges with ease, and the substantial interest from all over the globe is not surprising considering that he does resemble Argentine superstar Lionel Messi in his movement and general dribbling style. Remarkably strong at making quick changes of direction to beat onrushing defenders with ease, the youngster offers excellent scope for further development as well.

While the Uruguayan does look diminutive in stature, it must be conceded that he boasts a deceptive amount of strength. Capable of holding off the odd challenge from a defender, the youngster also has the potential to be converted into a wing-back depending on the requirements. Although Pellistri has scored only one goal for the club so far, Diego Forlan’s confidence in the attacker will surely go a long way, and if he continues to develop at this rate, there’ll be no telling how good the teenager can get.

Why Pep Guardiola Should Go For Facundo Pellistri

Manchester City have been one of the most successful clubs of the last decade, but if there’s one thing that they’ve never quite managed to do, it has to be their inability to bring talented academy players into the first-team. Jadon Sancho is a prime example of how the Citizens have historically struggled when dealing with prodigious youngsters. While it could be argued that Phil Foden is an exception, one name doesn’t change the fact that youth has been an issue at the Etihad.

Pep Guardiola would have the opportunity to mould Pellistri into the player that he wants to build his team around in the future. The youngster, at least on first look, does have a lot of the same strengths as Leo Messi, and there’s no need to remind anyone of the havoc that Guardiola and the little Argentine wreaked together during their time at the Nou Camp. The Spanish manager would hence do well to beat the likes of Real Madrid and fellow Premier League side Wolves to the Uruguayan’s signature, even if it’s just to prove a point.

Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.