Bruno Fernandes has now played 300 minutes of first team action for Manchester United in an eight-day span since English football restarted.

Now, with a match away at Brighton less than 48 hours away, do United ask him to play another 90 minutes?

He will be up for the challenge, no doubt. But United’s squad depth should mean that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not need to over-stretch anybody, let alone a player as integral as Fernandes.

If United choose to rest Fernandes and bring him off the bench, here are five possible alternatives. And you will probably agree that one really stands out…

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Jesse Lingard

United probably did Jesse Lingard no favours against Norwich by asking him to play on the left wing.

Could he enjoy more success in a central role, able to link up with Rashford on the left?

Lingard did not help his own cause at the weekend with an ineffective display, but Solskjaer remains a big fan.

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Juan Mata

Is Juan Mata up to the task of starting two games in four days himself?

The Spaniard was disappointing against Norwich, and like Lingard, may fare better in the central role usually occupied by Fernandes.

United probably need pace and energy in this role, and playing Mata was part of a three-man midfield along with fellow veteran Nemanja Matic may not be a good combination.

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Andreas Pereira

An intriguing option because of how fresh he is. Pereira has played just 10 minutes of football since the restart compared to Fernandes’ 300.

If United want somebody to press and work hard for an hour before bringing Fernandes on, this could be the role for Pereira.

 

He has mixed fortunes against Brighton. He scored the opener, via a deflection, in a 3-1 win at Old Trafford earlier in the season.

His last visit to the Amex though, under Jose Mourinho, saw him substituted after 45 minutes and banished to the bench for two months.

Angel Gomes

Gomes is an option, just not one we would expect Solskjaer to use based on what we have seen over the last few months.

His best hope would be for a place on the bench. That would be progress after failing to make any of United’s three squads over the last 10 days.

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Paul Pogba

Now we are talking. This is by far and away the best option for United if we want to take the game to Brighton and win.

Pogba has been an attacking force in recent matches, creating four chances from central midfield against Sheffield United, and winning the penalty against Tottenham.

So this could be the ideal opportunity to unleash him in an attacking role tonight and let Fernandes rest up.

United are not short of options further back, with Matic, Fred, and McTominay all competing for two places.

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