Diego Forlan Reveals Phone Call From Ole Gunnar Solskjaer About Facundo Pellistri

Dec 10, 2020, 12:12 PM GMT
Diego Forlan and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were teammates at United
Diego Forlan and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were teammates at United | Gary M. Prior/Getty Images
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Exclusive - Ex-Manchester United forward Diego Forlan has revealed his part in his former club signing Uruguayan talent Facundo Pellistri, while also giving his take on Edinson Cavani's move to Old Trafford.

Forlan spent two-and-a-half seasons at United in the early noughties and, while his best goalscoring form came later on at Atletico Madrid, he is best remembered in Manchester for his match-winning double against rivals Liverpool in 2002.

After hanging up his boots in 2019, the Uruguay legend was appointed head coach at Peñarol in his homeland where he spent time working with teenager Pellistri, who followed Forlan's path to United for around £10m back in October.

Facundo Pellistri is in the right place at United according to Diego Forlan
Facundo Pellistri is in the right place at United according to Diego Forlan | Visionhaus/Getty Images

While 18-year-old Pellistri has yet to make a first-team appearance for his new club, Forlan is convinced the highly rated forward will get opportunities this season.

Speaking to 90min.es, Forlan revealed he actually took a call from United boss and former striker partner Ole Gunnar Solskjaer before the Premier League giants made their move.

"I think he [Pellistri] will have a chance to play this season," Forlan told 90min. "They are taking it little by little.

"We had the opportunity to talk when I was in Peñarol and Ole called me to get a reference for the player.

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer called Forlan to speak about Pellistri
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer called Forlan to speak about Pellistri | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

"It seemed like an ideal club for him because they were going to give him the time. Even though he could have arrived and played directly, he is a young boy, you can't rush him, because he has conditions to continue growing and improving.

"Little by little he will get his chance. The coach will see when is the best moment [to play him], because he arrived at a club that is managed that way and that is the beauty of it."

Pellistri wasn't the only Uruguayan United picked up in this summer's window, with Forlan's former international teammate Cavani also arriving on a free transfer.

The Paris Saint-Germain all-time top scorer has started the season with three goals in six Premier League outings and Forlan is convinced he made the right choice to move to Old Trafford.

"He doesn't have to prove anything to anyone," Forlan said. "He came to a club of the stature of Manchester United, which opened its doors for him.

"To me, his choice of the club seems very successful and it looks like a good fit. I am happy to see him there, because I know what the club offers you both professionally and personally."

Forlan called his relatively brief time at United a 'privilege', while adding that he was proud to play under the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson.

On whether United, who haven't won the Premier League since Ferguson left in 2013, can reach their previous heights again, Forlan was optimistic.

"It is difficult to repeat that period," the former striker added. "Many things were won, times are changing.

"I do think and I believe that this is a team that has enormous potential, with great players, with a spending power that allows it to be among the best and not I have no doubt that they will be again."

To read the full interview with Forlan, visit 90min.es

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