The winds of change are flowing at Old Trafford. After Erik ten Hag’s appointment, the Red Devils have brought in new players, the coach has implemented a new playing style, and excitement abounds the club. Amidst the marquee signings of Christian Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez and the chase for Frenkie de Jong, one signing has caught the eye, one that could has had a huge impact not just on the team, but on other players too. Tyrell Malacia has impressed as a LB in pre-season. Consequentially, Alvaro Fernandez, Utd academy’s highly-rated teenage LB is set to prove himself on loan at Preston North End in the Championship.
United’s youth squad is the strongest it has been in years with Alejandro Garnacho, Kobbie Mainoo, Toby Collyer, Hannibal Mejbri, etc. With Telles’ future in the air and Luke Shaw still not convincing consistently, Fernandez could be poised to break through at Man Utd with a good year at Preston North End.
Shola Shoretire, Alvaro Fernandez and Will Fish in training with the first-team pic.twitter.com/3ZFzZlagAG
— utdreport Academy (@utdreportAcad) April 26, 2022
Therefore, it is a matter of time before Fernandez makes his debut for Preston and starts showing off his potential on the biggest stage soon after
Who is Alvaro Fernandez?
Alvaro Fernandez is a Spanish left-back who has played in Manchester United’s youth teams. Fernandez is an exciting talent who embodies new-age fullbacks. He bombs forward at every opportunity, which helps create overloads in attack.
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Alvaro Fernandez joined the Red Devils’ youth academy from Real Madrid in 2020 as a free agent. It can prove to be one of the club’s most shrewd pieces of business. The advent of Brexit forced clubs to act quickly when signing foreign U18 players. In Alvaro Fernandez, United might just have signed the best of the lot.
Alvaro Fernandez potential
Alvaro Fernandez quickly made his mark on the youth sides. He scored on his debut for the U18s and was fast-tracked to the U23s side. He played 32 times across the various sides in 2021-22.
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Consequently, Fernandez’s 23 appearances in the Premier League 2 saw three goals and four assists. Therefore, it is clear that United have a special talent on their hands who will only get better with the proper coaching.
Furthermore, the young players being fostered is a major step for the future. Alvaro Fernandez is one of the key players in this group and it is not hard to see why.
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Alvaro Fernandez analysis
In 2021-22, Alvaro Fernandez made 23 appearances in the Premier League 2. He racked up ten goal contributions across all competitions. Two of those came in the opening three matches against Chelsea and Manchester City. Given how much focus is on the attacking side from the position nowadays, Fernandez is performing consistently.
With Luke Shaw possibly out for the season, United need support at left back😬
Presenting Alvaro Fernandez:
▪️Signed from Real Madrid in 2020🇪🇸
▪️30 Appearances for United's U23s this season 🔴
▪️6 goals (all comps) ⚽️
— Stretford Paddock (@StretfordPaddck) April 15, 2022
There is still some way to go to break out as a goal-scoring fullback. Alvaro Fernandez has been a solid presence for the youth side in their dominating performances, culminating in the U18s winning the FA Youth Cup last season.
Skills and style of play
Alvaro Fernandez is an offensive threat. He can make runs up and down the flank all game long. The fact that he has the speed and ability to test opposing defences makes him a dangerous proposition.
Moreover, Fernandez is no slouch when it comes to getting shots away. Coaches have allowed him to play his natural game and not restrict him to only defending.
However, there is no doubt that Alvaro Fernandez is also a very effective ball winner. Similarly, his quickness and ability to sniff out threats make him the perfect player to have.
Fernandez’s style has been on the rise in recent times in football and will only prosper with time.
Future at Manchester United
The signing of Tyrell Malacia made Fernandez’s position at Man Utd this season untenable. While Alex Telles might make his way out of the club, Fernandez would have found it difficult to have consistent first-team minutes. Luke Shaw starts the season as the undisputed first-choice and Lisandro Martinez can deputise there. Moreover, Diogo Dalot is also capable of playing on either flank.
A loan to a Championship club is the optimum solution for Alvaro Fernandez this season. James Garner at Nottingham Forest provides the best template for Fernandez to succeed. After guiding Forest to promotion, Garner is knocking on the first-team door. Even if he doesn’t stay at United, Garner will play in the PL.
This season will be Fernandez’s first full season in senior football. Impressing at Preston North End will open up his whole career to many opportunities, including one at Manchester United.