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Manchester United Youngster Facundo Pellistri's 'Baby-Like Signature' Almost Cost Him Dream Move

Josh Lawless

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Manchester United Youngster Facundo Pellistri's 'Baby-Like Signature' Almost Cost Him Dream Move

Featured Image Credit: Image: PA & Manchester United

Manchester United youngster Facundo Pellistri's "baby-like signature" nearly cost him his dream move to the 13-time Premier League champions.

The Red Devils brought the highly thought of Uruguayan starlet in for around €10 million on the rearranged transfer deadline day last year.

The transfer from Penarol ended up being a very stressful experience for the 19-year-old. Bizarrely, after putting pen to paper at the club's AON training complex, United told Pellistri that his signature was wrong.

Image: PA
Image: PA

Back in the day he had rinsed by his Penarol teammates for an immature signature and so he changed it to a more professional one.

He initially signed the biggest bit of paperwork of his life with the new one but because the old one was on the official forms from when he was registered with the Uruguayan FA, Pellistri had to revert."

"My transfer went through 10 minutes before the deadline," Pellistri recalled in an interview with The Athletic.

"I left the training ground and signed a contract; I did that via a Facetime call from a lawyer. I signed all the papers – and there were lots, in English and Spanish — but then, when I thought everything had been done, I got a call from United to say that my signature was wrong: My signature on the file with the Uruguayan Football Association was my old signature, the one I had used as a child.

"When I got into the first team at Penarol, my team-mates had made fun of me because my signature was like a baby’s. They told me to improve my signature, so I changed from the baby one to a more grown-up one. But my baby one – which was like F.A.C.U.N.D.O P.E.L.L.I.S.T.R.I. – was still on the official forms, so I had to sign all the forms again, with the baby signature."

The move was very much almost scuppured and United asked for an emergency extension to complete the deal, before it eventually got over the line.

"All the documents had to be reprinted and signed again," he continued.

"We had to wait a long time for confirmation. United had to ask for an hour as an extension to the deadline. I was so worried because if the paperwork was not right, I could not sign for United but I also wouldn’t be able to play for Penarol.

"My girlfriend kept refreshing United’s website to see if I had signed. Finally, she shouted, 'Look! Manchester have put you on their page!' We all started to celebrate."

Pellistri was integrated into the club's Under 21 side at first before being loaned out to La Liga side Deportivo Alaves in January.

He returned to Old Trafford and impressed in pre-season, scoring in a friendly win over Derby County in July.

Image: PA
Image: PA

But he was sent back on loan to Alaves, where he's played seven times in the league this term.

Pellistri has had to make do with substitute appearances and knows he must be playing more regularly if he is to force his way into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's plans.

"I want to start, to be more powerful mentally and physically. I know I am fast – especially with the ball. I can take the ball quickly up the pitch, I have good control.

"There are players who are amazingly fast without the ball, I can be fast with the ball, but I have to improve where to find space to get the ball. You improve when you play in a position.

And I want to improve by playing and go back to Manchester a better player and get into the first team, but first I need to get used to Europe and be playing regularly. I’m only 19, but regular playing time is important."

Topics: Manchester United, Uruguay

Josh Lawless
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