Manchester United’s Alvaro Fernandez has quickly taken to life in the Championship and has impressed one and all with his performances for loan club Preston North End.
Despite a short injury spell that has limited the 19-year-old to only two starts in his seven appearances so far, the Spaniard has made the most of his minutes.
Fernandez has already won over the Preston faithful with his own chant being sung around the Deepdale ground and supporters even resorting to booing the Preston manager, Ryan Lowe, for subbing the youngster off in his latest appearance against Sheffield United.
The manager was keen to clear the air afterwards as he explained to LancsLive, “What they don’t know is that Alvaro took a knock to his thigh at half-time and was struggling to run towards the end.
“It did (take me by surprise) to be fair, but Alvaro is a 19-year-old kid who has never played Championship football before or any first-team football. He is finding his feet as well and he’d probably tell you that.”
“He’s up against a lad in [George] Baldock who has made probably 300 appearances in the Championship. Alvaro was always going to fatigue at some point; I thought he was fantastic in the first half and then died off a bit towards the end.”
The full-back was given a rating of 7 for his performance in the match, joint highest among all his teammates.
LancsLive described his performance by saying that he “offered a more dynamic option going down the left and was willing to drive at the Blades defence. A couple of loose moments but he asked questions and looked to be positive on the ball. His withdrawal was booed.”
The supporters were full of praise for the Spaniard as one user on the PNE-Online forum said that the United loanee “is getting better with every appearance. Think he’ll have a good career.”
While another said. “At Deepdale we need wingbacks that create, that hold high upfield positions that can turn defences and get in behind. It’s why Fernandez needs to start all home games. Whether that means dropping Brady or not.”
Currently standing in the youngster’s way of getting regular starts is another United academy graduate in Robbie Brady.
With the Irish international being one of Preston’s top performers, Lowe has a selection dilemma on his hands and many fans actually believe Brady’s versatility should be used to fit both of them into the starting XI.
One fan‘s suggestion was to move Brady into midfield to accommodate Fernandez saying, “For me we simply have to get Fernandez in the team. I wouldn’t want to drop Brady though as he’s obviously a proper quality player at this level. I feel Fernandez really needs to start with Brady tucking inside as one of the players in front of Whiteman.”
How Lowe will utilise the pairing going forward is yet to be seen but it looks certain that Fernandez will receive a lot of game time during his loan as he looks to make an impact upon his return to to Manchester.