Former Manchester United right-back Gary Neville has warned Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that two players in his current squad are too important to be rested.
Solskjaer named a much-changed team from his Premier League squad last weekend. Nine new faces were named in the starting XI, although Bruno Fernandes and Harry Maguire retained their places.
In light of this, Neville has branded the two players as untouchable. He warned his former teammate that Manchester United cannot afford to rest either of them despite a hectic fixture list in the coming weeks.
Speaking on his SkySports podcast, the former England international said:
''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."
Manchester United slowly building up title charge after poor start to 2020-21 campaign
Manchester United kicked off their 2020-21 Premier League campaign with a shock 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace. They followed that with another embarrassing 6-1 loss to Tottenham Hotspur in their next home fixture.
Talks of a title charge were a long way off, as the club struggled with consistency in the early part of the season.
They have, however, turned a corner in recent weeks and are currently on an eight-game unbeaten run domestically. This has seen them soar up the table into third place.
Manchester United are currently five points off Liverpool with a game in hand. Their only setback has been the Champions League elimination so far.
Manchester United will have an opportunity to climb up to second when they travel to the King Power Stadium to take on Leicester City.
Should they get the job done, a title charge would not be out of place, provided that they maintain this consistency.Published 24 Dec 2020, 20:53 IST