Erik ten Hag was told to give youngster Alvaro Fernandez a run out for Manchester United rather than signing a replacement left-back for Luke Shaw, according to reports.
The Red Devils were left exposed at left-back towards the end of the summer transfer window following an injury to Shaw, who could be sidelined for up to ten weeks with a muscular injury.
Alex Telles left for Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr after a year on loan at Europa League champions Sevilla while young left-back Brandon Williams joined Championship side Ipswich Town on a season-long loan.
Tyrell Malacia, who missed Man Utd’s pre-season tour of the United States, is also still injured and Fernandez emerged as a possible short-term option until Shaw or Malacia regained their fitness.
However, despite advice to give Fernandez a shot, Ten Hag was keen to bring in a left-back who has experience of playing in the Premier League.
And he subsequently signed Tottenham defender Sergio Reguilon on loan until the end of the season after giving up on Chelsea’s Marc Cucurella.
On Ten Hag’s decision to bring in Reguilon over giving Fernandez a chance, The Athletic claim:
‘Fernandez had been close to finalising a loan move to La Liga outfit Granada before Shaw’s injury. That was suddenly put on hold.
‘Some figures who have followed Fernandez’s development believed he would be worth trying given United’s circumstances but Ten Hag wanted a replacement with Premier League experience.
‘In a meeting with Ten Hag, Fernandez was told that he would be allowed to go out on loan if a deal for an emergency left-back could be arranged. If not, he would compete with Dalot for a place in the team until Malacia returned from injury.’
Former Man Utd defender Gary Neville admits he was “surprised” that the Red Devils had gone for Reguilon with the Spaniard struggling to be a success in the Premier League at Tottenham.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Neville’s fellow pundit Jamie Carragher said: “Roy Keane would be delighted, wouldn’t he? Roy Keane would be delighted. He is a big fan, isn’t he?”
Neville responded: “I have to say I was a little bit surprised that we were going for Reguilon.
“Obviously, we have got the issue with Luke Shaw which means that it is a stop-gap, it is a sort of temporary measure, but they have left themselves short in that position.”