This article is part of Football League World’sTerrace Talk‘ series, which provides personal opinions from our FLW Fan Pundits regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Preston North End were able to seal somewhat of a coup last week as talented Manchester United youngster Alvaro Fernandez arrived on a season-long loan deal.
It was reported by The Athletic that the Lilywhites defeated clubs from the top division of Spanish and German football to land the signature of the 19-year-old, with guarantees of playing time securing the deal for the Red Devils’ under-23’s Player of the Season.
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Fernandez had to settle for a place on the bench for North End in their first match of the Championship season against Wigan Athletic, which ended 0-0 at the DW Stadium, but he did replace Robbie Brady in the second half at wing-back.
In truth, Fernandez did not see too much of the ball but there were some positive signs when he did receive it, but there will be plenty more better days to come in the future.
Speaking about the addition of the Spaniard to the squad, FLW’s PNE fan pundit Sam Weeden believes this is a great signing for Ryan Lowe’s side.
“I think Fernandez is a really exciting transfer for Preston North End,” Sam said.
“He’s got a really good pedigree at Manchester United and has come through at Real Madrid – the fact he won the under-23’s Player of the Year despite only being 19 is a real credit to the lad.
“I think he could be a really exciting signing – we’ve brought in Robbie Brady who is a different type of player to Fernandez, Brady is someone who when you’ve got a lot of territory he’ll be really good with his deep crossing but Fernandez is someone that can really drive us forward like Ryan Lowe wants.
“Four goals and nine assists last season in the Premier League 2 are really encouraging statistics and the fact he’s turned down a loan to the Bundesliga to come here represents how much of a real transfer coup it is for Preston North End.
“We’ve had a lot of luck with loan players – a lot of times we’ve fallen in love with loan players and then ended up with our heart broken and I think certainly on paper Alvaro Fernandez certainly has the potential to be the biggest one of those just yet.
“I think it’s a fantastic signing and I’m really looking forward to having him and seeing him develop over the next season.”
Once upon a time, North End did not have the greatest relationship with United when Sir Alex Ferguson’s son Darren was sacked as manager at Deepdale and the Red Devils loanees who were at the club were subsequently recalled, causing furore amongst supporters.
Those bridges have been built back up though, and United have seen that PNE are a great club to send youngsters to with both Cameron Archer and Sepp van den Berg coming on leaps and bounds recently in their stints.
Fernandez has already shown glimpses of his quality when coming off the bench against Wigan, but it will be in his first start – whenever that is – when we truly see what he is about.
The Spaniard is primed to have a breakout campaign though, and PNE are the ones that have been entrusted with his development.