'I loved it' - Man United star reflects on his year on loan at Preston North End
Manchester United defender Alvaro Fernandez says he 'loved it' on loan at Preston North End last season and has outlined the benefit of his spell.
The Lilywhites swooped in for the young Spaniard in the summer of 2022, with Fernandez watching a match at Deepdale before agreeing a season-long deal. His ability was clear to see straight away and the ex-Real Madrid man went on to feature regularly in the first team.
Fernandez made 40 appearances in all competitions and provided a threat down the left flank for Preston. He did not score during his time at Deepdale, but registered four assists in the Championship and two more in the Carabao Cup.
North End would've loved to bring Fernandez back this summer, but the next step in his development was to head back to his home country - on loan with top flight side Granada. But, he won't forget the role PNE played in his early progression.
“I improved a lot defensively, physically, in aerial duels,” Fernandez told The Athletic. “That experience that the second division gives you - going head to head with adults - that’s what I wanted. I loved it. I left very happy. On top of that I had a team, a close-knit family. We had an incredible dressing room and I left a lot of friends behind. Even though I was in Manchester in pre-season, I went to see them.”
As for the future of Fernandez, his contract at Old Trafford expires in 18 months and the player is not thinking too much about the long-term. He is a player plenty of Preston supporters will always keep an eye out for. The United man is open to what next season and beyond may hold.
“We’ll see the situation," said Fernandez. "You know how football 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, 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.”