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Alvaro Fernandez: Man Utd defender opens up on Benfica loan, with buy-option stance revealed



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Manchester United loanee Alvaro Fernandez has opened up on his start to life at Benfica after moving to the Portuguese club in the January transfer window.

Fernandez, 20, joined United from Real Madrid in the summer of 2020. He was named the Under-21s Player of the Season in 2021/22 before having a successful spell on loan in the Championship with Preston North End last term.

The left-back played 42 games for the Lilywhites, registering six assists across the campaign.

However, it was decided that he would be loaned out again to La Liga club Granada at the beginning of this season, despite United having injury troubles in his position.

In January, he moved across to Benfica, where the Portuguese club have an option to buy the Spaniard – as well as an obligation to buy him if he starts more than 50 per cent of the games played for the rest of the season.

So far, Fernandez has made seven appearances for the Portuguese club, with two of those being from the start, although manager Roger Schmidt has stated that he could become a regular in the team going forward.

Speaking to O Jogo about his time in Portugal so far, Fernandez has expressed his happiness at the club and his growing role.

“It’s been a while. We’re growing, and I want to help the team,” he said. “The players and coaches have helped me.

“Benfica is a good place to grow up. That’s why I came here. I adapt quickly and feel welcomed. I’m very happy in Portugal.”

Meanwhile, O Jogo added that Benfica will likely take the option to buy Fernandez on a permanent basis after his loan is complete.

The contract includes a £5.2 million buy-option plus an additional £2.6 million in add-ons – which becomes an obligation if he starts 50 per cent of games.