5 players who have played more minutes than expected this season (2020-21)

Modified 05 Apr 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

#3 Nacho Fernandez | Real Madrid

Real Madrid v Atalanta - UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Leg Two
Real Madrid v Atalanta - UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Leg Two

Hailed as one of the most versatile players in world football, Nacho Fernandez has been at Real Madrid for the entirety of his professional career and proved his worth to the club several times. The 31-year-old has played across the backline for Los Blancos over the years and has once again done the job for his side amidst an injury crisis.

With Sergio Ramos currently unavailable, Nacho has been used as a central defender in a back three, with the Spaniard partnering Eder Militao and Raphael Varane in the Real Madrid rearguard. He is also capable of deputizing as a left-back or a right-back, making him the perfect utility man for any team in world football.

Nacho is below a handful of players in the pecking order, but that hasn't stopped him from making 21 appearances in all competitions for Real Madrid this season. His contract runs out in the summer of 2022 and if reports are to be believed, he is wanted by many clubs across the continent.

#2 Pedri | Barcelona

FC Barcelona v Juventus: Group G - UEFA Champions League
FC Barcelona v Juventus: Group G - UEFA Champions League

Pedri's emergence has been one of the shining lights of Barcelona's season, with the teenage sensation enjoying a stunning debut season at the Camp Nou. The midfielder was signed for a nominal fee from Las Palmas and was expected to play a bit-part role, with the likes of Sergio Busquets, Miralem Pjanic, Frenkie de Jong and Riqui Puig ahead of him in the pecking order.

However, Pedri has quickly become one of the most important players at the club under Ronald Koeman and has forged an understanding with Lionel Messi. Known for his ball control, dribbling ability and match awareness, he has also drawn comparisons with Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta, which is a startling example of the outrageous talent he possesses.

In his first season at the club, Pedri has already featured a staggering 42 times for the Catalan giants and has also been capped by Spain under Luis Enrique. The sky is the limit for the 18-year-old, who is undoubtedly one of the biggest talents in the game.

#1 Weston McKennie | Juventus

Juventus v SSC Napoli - Italian PS5 Supercup
Juventus v SSC Napoli - Italian PS5 Supercup

When Juventus announced the signing of Weston McKennie last summer, a few eyebrows were raised by fans across the globe. While the energetic midfielder was a household name in the Bundesliga with Schalke, the question was simple - is he good enough for a club of Juventus' stature?

McKennie, though, quickly silenced his critics with a string of magnificent displays in midfield, with the American international being praised for his versatility, energy and box-to-box ability. He has also shown a keen eye for goal, having notched up five goals in 35 appearances across all competitions for Andrea Pirlo's side this season.

Juventus have triggered a clause in his contract to sign him permanently, with McKennie getting rave reviews from fans and pundits across the world for his performances. At the age of 22, he has enough time on his side to take his game to a new level in the coming years at the Allianz Stadium.

Published 05 Apr 2021
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