Three ways Manchester United could replace Bruno Fernandes against Watford

Bruno Fernandes is due a rest this weekend when Manchester United take on Watford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was coy about this after the City game, not wanting to give too much away.

Solskjaer told the club website: “He wants to play every game, Bruno. Of course, it’s a long season. 

“Let’s see what team we come with on Saturday so I’ll have a chat with him about how he feels.

The United boss did add, “There will be a few changes”, a nod to the need to rotate ahead of two big Premier League games away to Burnley and Liverpool next week.


So hopefully Fernandes will get a rest, United have options to rotate and still expect a win against Championship side Watford.

Here is a look at three players who could come in to replace United’s top scorer…

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Donny van de Beek

Donny van de Beek will surely be among United’s starters against Watford. Whether he features in Fernandes’ role is a little more uncertain.

Van de Beek’s versatility could see him utilised in a deeper midfield role, with Fred, Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba all starting the past two games.

Playing in an attacking role could be Van de Beek’s best position, but United do have alternatives here.

So long as he gets the start, Van de Beek should not be too worried about where he plays, after such a lack of minutes lately.

Jesse Lingard

If Van de Beek thinks he has it bad, Jesse Lingard’s troubles are a sign it could always be worse.

Lingard has not played for United since the end of September and was not even on the bench in midweek.

Still, if United want to change it up, Lingard could be the man to bring energy to the XI.

His future is still unclear and Lingard could be motivated to either force his way back in at United, or put himself in the shop window during an important month.

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Juan Mata

While Lingard was not on the bench against City, Juan Mata was among the substitutes.

Mata had a run where he was playing frequently during October and November but has not featured much lately.

His last game came as a substitute in the mid-December win away at Sheffield United.

If United do line up with some inexperience like Mason Greenwood and Dan James in attack, Mata could provide the side with some balance.

Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images
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