Home ┬╗ Alvaro Fernandez’s break clause only becomes active in January, major missed opportunity for Erik ten Hag

Alvaro Fernandez’s break clause only becomes active in January, major missed opportunity for Erik ten Hag

by Ayantan Chowdhury

Manchester United’s dismal start to the season has seen them lose six out of 10 games in all competitions and the pressure is mounting on Erik ten Hag.

Injuries have not helped the manager, with the defence suffering the most. The Dutchman has never managed to field his first-choice back-four this season due to injury.

One of the areas most badly affected is at left-back with all three players currently sidelined. Tyrell Malacia was the first to suffer an injury, which has seen him miss the entire pre-season and all games so far.

United’s injury problems at LB

Luke Shaw, the first-choice left-back, is yet to play since the Tottenham Hotspur game and these two long-term injuries forced the club to dip into the market towards the closing stages of the summer transfer window.

A lot of candidates were scrutinised, but in the end, it was Spurs star Sergio Reguilon who arrived on deadline day but after a couple of promising displays, he suffered a hamstring injury as well.

He is not expected to be back before the international break, with right-back Diogo Dalot filling in at one point while currently, midfield Sofyan Amrabat has been forced to play there.

The club have suffered because of the Moroccan’s inability to play there, which was meant to happen against the big teams and the manager must be ruing his luck.

Interestingly, Ten Hag had the option of playing academy graduate Alvaro Fernandez in that position but he chose to send him out on loan to Granada, thinking he was not quite ready for the step-up.

Maybe a break clause in his contract would have allowed the Spaniard to return to Old Trafford during such an emergency. But United never included such a clause. The earliest United can recall him is in January.

“The Manchester Evening News revealed at the time that United’s ongoing defensive crisis was not going to alter their plans to loan him out given they were confident of securing a replacement on loan.

Alvaro Fernandez can be recalled, but not more January

“It is also understood United do not have an option to cut Fernandez’s spell in Spain short at this moment of time, though there is a break clause in the deal to recall him in January if required,” The Manchester Evening News reported.

Given Reguilon’s injury record, Ten Hag will either be hoping to see either of Malacia or Shaw regain full fitness and form, or he may be forced to recall the 20-year-old in January when the mid-season break clause becomes active.

Fernandez has enjoyed a decent spell in La Liga so far, featuring in three of the five league matches he has been eligible for since joining.

The 26-year-old Reguilon had missed 29 games for Atletico Madrid last season during his loan there and United should have realised the injury worries associated with Reguilon before signing him.

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