I was Man Utd’s youth player of the year but was told Ten Hag ‘couldn’t count on me’ – I’m determined to have a future

7 months ago 54

MANCHESTER UNITED youth prospect Alvaro Fernandez has said that he still sees a future at Manchester United.

In an interview with The Athletic, the left-back said that he had joined LaLiga side Granada on loan after being told he was surplus to requirements.

Reuters
Fernandez said he was told by Ten Hag that the manager “could not count on him”[/caption]

The full-back looked to have a clear pathway to the first-team after back-up left-back Tyrell Malacia was forced to miss United’s pre-season tour of the US with injury.

But rather than trust in Fernandez, who won reserve team player of the year in 2022, ten Hag opted to sign Tottenham’s Sergio Reguilon as cover.

Fernandez said he was ready to stay at United and fight for a spot but ten Hag had other ideas.

Speaking to The Athletic, Fernandez said: “What message did United give me? That I should go out on loan, that Ten Hag didn’t count on me, that I should continue to gain experience, rhythm, and we’ll see what happens in the future.

“But it’s clear that football doesn’t end at any club and that you have to keep working. My main objective is to return to United and make a place for myself there.”

United signed Fernandez as a youngster from Real Madrid in the middle of the pandemic.

Speaking on the experience, he said: “At that time, we were in lockdown (as the Covid-19 pandemic continued). We had a video call with the Manchester United bosses, the scouts who are here in Spain, and they were translating for me, because I had no idea of English.

“What I saw was that I wanted to take the next step, and I wasn’t going to do it in Madrid.”

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He is now on loan at Granada[/caption]

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The left-back had been signed by Madrid having started out as a striker for his hometown club Racing Ferrol, where he once scored 100 goals in a season.

Fernandez explained that when he signed for United he saw a pathway to the first-team, saying: “At that time, there was Brandon Williams and Luke Shaw and there were no other full-backs.

“Manchester [United] is completely different [to Real Madrid]. You lived with the professionals — you’d go down for breakfast and you’d bump into [Marcus] Rashford. I was lucky enough to start very well in England. They gave me the best youth player award [reserve team player of the year, in May 2022] and supported me a lot.

“There was [fellow Spanish speaker Juan] Mata, [Edinson] Cavani, [David] de Gea, who pushed me, encouraged me and looked after me a lot. I have no complaints about that. At Madrid, maybe it’s more separate.”

Speaking on whether we will break into United’s first-team one day, Fernandez said: “I’ve never had any doubts. I have people by my side who support me and make me see things as they are. I understand that you have to take it step by step.

“We’ll see the situation… you know how football goes, it goes day by day.

“I have two years left in Manchester and for now I’m thinking mainly about Granada. When I have to talk in the summer, or at Christmas, you never know… we’ll see what happens.

“My objective is Manchester, of course, but it’s such a crazy game that maybe next year I’ll be in Germany or Italy or Spain. You never know.”

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