Erik ten Hag can give Alvaro Fernandez something he didn’t expect at Manchester United

After the success of Amad’s loan spell at Sunderland last season, it could be argued that Alvaro Fernandez’s stay at Preston North End went somewhat under the radar.

The Manchester United left-back, who joined the club from Real Madrid almost three years ago, spent last term on loan at Deepdale and gained valuable first-team experience for the very first time. He made 42 appearances in all competitions and produced a number of polished performances.

Deployed mainly as a left-sided wing-back, Fernandez was one of North End’s star players, registering a respectable figure of six assists. He made the most of his stay in Lancashire, resulting in North End supporters desperately hoping he would return after his loan deal reached its conclusion.

They often raved about him and that praise was justified as he won the club’s young player of the season award. A year earlier, he had won United’s under-23 Player of the Year award.

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With two respectable awards under his belt in just 12 months, there is understandable hype surrounding the 20-year-old and his potential. There is a genuine belief that he has the necessary tools to be a top back in the future.

But the jump from the Championship to the Premier League, especially when returning to a club of United’s stature, is huge. Not even Amad, who flourished in the second row last term with 14 goals, is guaranteed to be part of Erik ten Hag’s plans for the coming season.

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