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Manchester United have sent Alvaro Fernandez out on loan to Preston North End, but not before tying him down to a new contract.
Fernandez, a left-back, has been on Manchester United’s books since 2020, when he arrived at their academy from Real Madrid’s equivalent. He is still awaiting a senior debut, but did win the award for the club’s Under-23s Player of the Year for the season just gone.
Now, Fernandez will be honing his skills in the Championship with Preston, who have acquired his services for the upcoming season.
It should give the Spain under-19 international the chance to develop at a decent standard. Preston’s season will begin with a match away at Wigan Athletic on Saturday. It is not yet clear if Fernandez’s debut will come within that game.
Before he sealed his move to Deepdale, Fernandez extended his contract with Manchester United until 2024. There will be an option to prolong the deal by a further 12 months.
First-team opportunities at Old Trafford would have been minimal for now due to the presence of Luke Shaw, plus the signings of Tyrell Malacia and Lisandro Martinez.
Alex Telles is also on the books, but looks like someone who could make way. In turn, Shaw and Malacia will mainly compete for the left-back berth. Left-footed centre-back Martinez could be an option there if it comes to it.
It will be interesting to see what the department looks like by the time Fernandez returns from his loan spell. For now, he must focus on helping Preston, who finished 13th in the Championship last season.
Fernandez told PNEFC.net: “I’m very happy, and I want to start with this club as soon as possible.
“I’ve spoken to the manager about the football; it’s so good. I like his plans for the season so I want to start.”
Preston boss predicts big things for Alvaro Fernandez
The coach in question, Ryan Lowe, thinks Alvaro Fernandez will have a Manchester United future ahead of him. For now, though, he is backing the teenager to compete with former Man Utd academy player Robbie Brady – also new to Preston this summer – for a starting berth.
Lowe added: “Alvaro’s one we’ve monitored and one who was brought to our attention through our chief scout James Wallace who’s watched him numerous times.
“Once we’d watched him a little bit more we felt he could do a job for us down that side as a left wing-back.
“He’s a fantastic asset to us. He’s going to be a fantastic football player for Manchester United. But we need Alvaro to help us in our Championship campaign for us to help him to hopefully one day make his Premier League debut for Manchester United.”
Fernandez is Preston’s second signing from a Premier League club in two days. Yesterday, they added striker Troy Parrott to their squad on loan from Tottenham Hotspur.
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