HomePREMIER LEAGUEManchester United may have two players competing for the same position next...

Manchester United may have two players competing for the same position next season.


Manchester United may have two players competing for the same position next season.

Man United manager Erik ten Hag will be aiming for more depth in his squad next season.

Though the question was concerning Amad’s future at Manchester United, the answer was not necessarily confined to him.

After taking his seat in the Carrington media suite last week, Erik ten Hag was asked about Amad and how he would fit into his plans next season after an eye-catching season-long loan spell at Sunderland.

“Of course, we loan such players to make development and make progress to bring them back, that is the aim of the loan,” said Ten Hag. “So we are really strong with them, we mentor them, we follow them, we have communication over the season, especially Darren Fletcher (technical director) invests a lot in such processes, the aim is to bring them back but as a better player with experience.”

Amad has dominated the Championship this season, towering above practically every other player in the division in terms of technical ability. He has been the gem in United’s loan crown this season, and the choice to transfer him to the Stadium of Light in August was pivotal in his development.

He was one of numerous kids sent out by the Reds last summer, and he was one of four players signed by Championship clubs. While Ethan Laird and Hannibal Mejbri showed glimpses of their skills at QPR and Birmingham City, respectively, Alvaro Fernandez was the Reds’ second most successful loanee.

He has spent the entire season with Preston North End, where he has helped Ryan Lowe’s team finish a respectable 12th in the standings. Fernandez’s season-long loan to Deepdale, like Hannibal’s, was his first of his senior career.

He joined United from Real Madrid in September 2020, at the age of 17, and was almost immediately assigned to the Under-21 team. He made 21 appearances in that age group that year and another 26 the next season.

A loan transfer was both sensible and strategic for Fernandez last summer, and he made the most of his time at Deepdale, receiving regular first-team action in 42 league and cup games and grabbing six assists.

He started almost every game as a left-back, left-sided wing-back, or left-midfielder, and was charged with getting high up the pitch. It was a campaign that brought out the best in him, so United must now determine what he should do next.

Fernandez possesses all of the vital attributes that a modern-day full-back is supposed to have, both defensively and offensively. He enjoys getting forward and digging out a cross, as evidenced by his assist total at North End. During his loan spell at Deepdale, manager Lowe constantly praised him and indicated in February that United were delighted with his progress.

“I know Man United are absolutely overjoyed with the games he’s played for us and the minutes he’s played,” he stated. Because, while he is a good player, he is still young and naive.”

United must consider a second loan, possibly to a club in the bottom half of the Premier League, or integrating him into Ten Hag’s first-team plans and allowing him to compete for a spot in the squad. United’s senior left-back options are currently Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia, with the former undoubtedly being first choice next season.

Malacia has gone through ups and downs in his first season at Old Trafford, putting up the kind of performances you’d expect from a 23-year-old adjusting to life at a new club in a new country. He obviously has the capability.

However, he may profit from further competition, maybe in the form of Fernandez. The Spaniard is unlikely to return to Old Trafford on a weekly basis, which means he might be pitted against Malacia for the role of Shaw’s understudy.

This could provide opportunities for the Spaniard to demonstrate his worth in cup events. A loan move may be the best choice for his development, but Fernandez will want to get into the first team.

Manchester United may have two players competing for the same position next season.

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