Home » Alvaro Fernandez is ready to follow Alejandro Garnacho’s footsteps, he shouldn’t be loaned again

Alvaro Fernandez is ready to follow Alejandro Garnacho’s footsteps, he shouldn’t be loaned again

by Vatsal Gupta

When Brexit was just about to come into effect, Manchester United went on a shopping spree of Europe’s finest young talents as a ban on buying foreign players under the age of 18 was forthcoming.

In came prospects like Hannibal Mejbri, Alejandro Garnacho, Marc Jurado, and Willy Kambwala among others as the youth squad was injected with fresh energy.

So far, the hit rate on these talents has been remarkably high. Hannibal is already knocking on the first-team door while Garnacho has blasted straight through it.

The next to follow him should be left-back Alvaro Fernandez.

The flying full-back, signed from Real Madrid, spent the 2022/23 season on loan at Preston North End. Before that, he was impressing tremendously in the U23s side at Old Trafford.

He continued his fine form in senior football as well as he went on to win the Preston supporters’ Young Player of the Season award.

He made 42 appearances in a remarkable introduction to senior football, especially for a young foreigner in a league as difficult to navigate as the Championship.

Attacking thrust was never a problem with Fernandez. However, his improvement in defensive discipline was a pleasant surprise.

He regularly used his breakneck recovery speed to cover the whole flank as he was found tackling in his box one moment and marauding into the opposition’s the next.

The Spaniard’s end product is already developed beyond his young age. Erik ten Hag likes his fullbacks to be attack-minded and comfortable with the ball. Those bits are Fernandez’s strengths with the potential to be elite at them.

With the manager having to play Diogo Dalot on the left many times due to an unforgiving schedule last season, the opportunity is ripe for Alvaro Fernandez to come in and make a claim for a senior spot.

His case is not like that of Amad, where the senior team is stocked with many options in his position. Fullback is an area where United could do with reinforcements and if that comes from within, there’s nothing better.

Breaking through into the first team needs a combination of talent, hard work, and then luck. Fernandez already has the first two down pat. Now he just needs to be given a chance in the team that he can seize with both hands.

As luck would have it, it could come soon due to United’s limited fullback options. The ingredients are all there for a breakout season. Expect to see him a lot in the pre-season as Ten Hag assesses his qualities. Then it is up to Fernandez to impress the manager and not look back.

His time has come and he is ready, now he just needs to prove that he belongs. Another loan should be out of the question. There’s no need to spend mindlessly when the solution is right at home.

Latest Top Stories...