Man Utd star Bruno Fernandes ‘not happy’ he is losing ‘important’ Harry Maguire battle

Man Utd: Solskjaer praises Fernandes performance

Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes has joked that he is “not happy” that team-mate Harry Maguire has played more minutes of football than him in 2020. A recent study from the CIES Football Observatory found Maguire to be the most used footballer in the world in 2020, with Fernandes fourth on the list for outfield players.

Manchester City defender Ruben Dias and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi separated the duo, while a number of goalkeepers clocked up more minutes than Fernandes but less than Maguire.

Fernandes was asked about the study after United’s 2-2 draw with Leicester on Boxing Day, a game where both he and Maguire clocked up another 90 minutes of football, and the Portuguese international replied: “I’m not happy.

“I need to say this to the coach: ‘I want to be the first one!’

“Of course, it’s really important to play.

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“The more games and more minutes you play, the more confidence you have.

“It’s always like that.

“I feel the confidence from the staff and the coach.

“It’s very important for me as this is part of the way I am settling down.

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“I feel the trust from the coach. ‘I need you and I want you to play, I will give you the chances’.

“When you see the minutes I have had this season, it’s trusting in me and I have to give something to the club.”

With the games coming thick and fast this season, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may opt to rest Fernandes and Maguire but club legend Gary Neville believes that will be difficult to do, given the pair’s importance to the side.

Neville said: “They are the two players who I think are irreplaceable. Fernandes is irreplaceable, they are a way off without him. He’s a vital piece of the jigsaw.

“Maguire, I think, you’d know if he was missing. My gut feeling is that they would miss him enormously.

“I know some people say he’s not the best defender in the league, that he’s not done brilliantly since he came for £80m, but he’s a big presence in the heart of the defence.

“He’s good on the ball, he’s composed and he’s good in the air. He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, sometimes he gets caught but he’s a good centre-back, a really good centre-back and a big presence in that team.

“Him and Fernandes, I’m not sure they can [rest them] at this moment in time because Ole hasn’t got the luxury to lose a game, unfortunately.”

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