Alvaro Fernandez joined Manchester United on a free transfer from Real Madrid in September 2020 and his rapid development over the last 12 months has impressed club chiefs
Manchester United are reaping the rewards of a smart piece of transfer business as their latest exciting prospect nears his senior debut.
Alvaro Fernandez joined the Red Devils on a free transfer from Real Madrid in September 2020 and his rapid development over the last 12 months has impressed club chiefs.
Fernandez, 18, was quickly promoted from United’s Under-18 side to join the Under-23s, for whom he has made 25 appearances.
The Spaniard has caught the eye with his attacking contributions from left-back and he has two goals and one assist to his name in three Premier League 2 appearances this season.
Fernandez’s progress has not gone unnoticed by first-team manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who promoted the youngster to first-team training.
He joined up with the senior squad for Tuesday’s session, which was also Cristiano Ronaldo’s first since returning to United in a £20million transfer from Juventus.
Fernandez took to social media after training to post a picture of himself with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, writing on Instagram : “Special moments. Learning.”
The teenager spent two years at Real Madrid’s famous La Fabrica academy and spent time on Deportivo La Coruna’s books before that.
Fernandez has two years remaining on his contract at United and his recent performances could convince club chiefs to extend his deal.
The Red Devils’ official website describes Fernandez as a “left-sided defender who looks extremely comfortable in possession.”
His biography adds: “Signed from Real Madrid in the summer of 2020, the Seville-born defender scored on his Under-18s debut in a win over Burnley.
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“He was soon fast-tracked into the Under-23s and continued to impress, finding the net again with a long-range effort in a win at Brighton.
“In total, he 20 appearances for Neil Wood’s team in 2020/21, contributing five assists, and is with that group on a permanent basis in 2021/22.”
Reports in Spain last year claimed the Real Madrid hierarchy were aggrieved to have lost Fernandez to their fellow European giants.
The player’s meteoric rise was temporarily postponed when he tested positive for coronavirus in the winter.
“He had tough time over Christmas. Didn’t return until lot later. We’ve seen sluggishness but he’s getting back,” said U23 boss Neil Wood at the time.
Fernandez roared back to form with four assists in four games – impressive attacking output he has carried over into the current season.
Now he is firmly on Solskjaer’s radar, it appears only a matter of time before Fernandez is named in the senior matchday squad for the first time.