Fernandes the machine again as ranking for most minutes played has ‘resting’ Rodri at 12)

Matt Stead
Manchester City midfielder Rodri, Manchester United player Bruno Fernandes and Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk
These knackered souls are in need of a rest; some more than Rodri

Rodri is begging for a ‘rest’ but 11 Premier League players have featured more often for club and country since July began, including three Arsenal stars.

“I do need a rest,” Rodri said after a draining Champions League quarter-final draw against Real Madrid in midweek“Let’s see how we speak, how we live the situation. Sometimes it is what it is. I need to adjust. It [rest] is something we are planning, yes,” he added.

But the Spanish midfield slacker doesn’t even rank first for club and country minutes at Manchester City this season. And a whole raft of Premier League players are due some time out long before him.

These are the Premier League players to have played the most minutes from July onwards; Mikel Arteta and Arsenal will be desperately clutching their rabbit feet over the next few weeks.


20) Pascal Gross

Games played: 45 (40 for Brighton, 5 for Germany)

Minutes played: 3,712

Just a ridiculously good players for a whole range of reasons: technical ability, creativity, versatility, durability and all the rest. It’s no wonder Roberto De Zerbi absolutely adores the 32-year-old.


19) Vladimir Coufal

Games played: 43 (40 for West Ham, 3 for Czechia)

Minutes played: 3,730

David Moyes has his favourites.


18) Ollie Watkins

Games played: 48 (44 for Aston Villa, 4 for England)

Minutes played: 3,734

It seems as though the England minutes will be restricted going forward, even in what is likely to be a 30-goal season which could end in a European trophy and Champions League qualification.


17) Ruben Dias

Games played: 44 (38 for Manchester City, 6 for Portugal)

Minutes played: 3,743

The defender has never not won the Premier League when he has competed for it, and generally avoiding injuries has been a large part of that.


16) Moises Caicedo

Games played: 46 (39 for Chelsea, 7 for Ecuador)

Minutes played: 3,745

That’s what £115m gets you in 2024.


15) Douglas Luiz

Games played: 50 (46 for Aston Villa, 4 for Brazil)

Minutes played: 3,767

It’s that blend of phenomenal technique and availability – the odd suspension notwithstanding – which has attracted the elite.


14) Ilya Zabarnyi

Games played: 43 (36 for Bournemouth, 7 for Ukraine)

Minutes played: 3,816

An ever-present for Bournemouth, but also during a successful Euros qualifying campaign for Ukraine.


13) Martin Odegaard

Games played: 46 (40 for Arsenal, 6 for Norway)

Minutes played: 3,828

The debatable positive for Odegaard is that he will get to sit the summer out after Norway missed qualification for another major tournament.


12) Rodri

Games played: 45 (39 for Manchester City, 6 for Spain)

Minutes played: 3,865

If Rodri really wants a breather he should have considered meeting the suspension threshold for bookings before the cut-off point was reached. Seven yellows and one red in 17 games became just one yellow in 11.


11) Diogo Dalot

Games played: 46 (41 for Manchester United, 5 for Portugal)

Minutes played: 3,974

Signed by Jose Mourinho in June 2018, this is already the most appearances Dalot has made in a single Premier League campaign.


10) Phil Foden

Games played: 51 (43 for Manchester City, 8 for England)

Minutes played: 3,976

It really isn’t long ago that entire minds were being lost over the limited game time of the imminent player of the season.


9) Fabian Schar

Games played: 46 (42 for Newcastle, 4 for Switzerland)

Minutes played: 3,994

And with three different injury-enforced central-defensive partners, no less.


8) Virgil van Dijk

Games played: 48 (40 for Liverpool, 8 for Netherlands)

Minutes played: 4,027

Look on the bright side: there should only be 90 more minutes left to play in Europe.


7) William Saliba

Games played: 47 (42 for Arsenal, 5 for France)

Minutes played: 4,078

One of five outfielders not to miss a Premier League minutes this season – all are centre-halves and Saliba is the only one currently in the top half (also Max Kilman, Joachim Andersen, Zabarnyi and James Tarkowski). Although his France boss doesn’t fancy him.


6) John McGinn

Games played: 51 (43 for Aston Villa, 8 for Scotland)

Minutes played: 4,105

Emi Martinez actually ranks third across Europe’s five league after playing 4,275 minutes, but the Argentine derives unlimited energy from all that housery.


5) Declan Rice

Games played: 50 (43 for Arsenal, 7 for England)

Minutes played: 4,123

Rice came a respectable eighth by this metric last season, and would presumably embrace repeating the run to a European final for club, country or indeed both.


3) Gabriel Magalhaes

Games played: 48 (42 for Arsenal, 6 for Brazil)

Minutes played: 4,150

It is starting to become a little clearer why a) Arsenal have been able to challenge on two fronts, and b) Liverpool and Manchester City have been consumed by a quiet but bitter injustice-fuelled rage. The Gunners have certainly had injuries to contend with, but their spine has held firm. Erik ten Hag is still yet to comprehend that north London defeat in September; he will be furious at Arsenal’s injury-avoiding luck.


3) Tomas Soucek

Games played: 52 (44 for West Ham, 8 for Czechia)

Minutes played: 4,216

West Ham have spent vast sums over the last few years on their midfield and attack but Soucek remains both a regular starter and one of their most prominent goal threats


2) Bruno Fernandes

Games played: 48 (41 for Manchester United, 7 for Portugal)

Minutes played: 4,251

It is not possible for Fernandes to catch the ludicrous 6,071 minutes he logged last season, which was almost 13 hours clear of second-placed Rodri. The Portuguese has his critics but there is a machine behind all that petulant arm-throwing.


1) Bruno Guimaraes

Games played: 51 (43 for Newcastle, 8 for Brazil)

Minutes played: 4,340

There must be something in the name. Newcastle have yet to win one of the seven games Guimaraes has missed since joining and this season has only seen an increase in his importance.


The most-used players at other Premier League clubs

Brentford: Yoane Wissa

Games played: 43 (30 for Brentford, 13 for DR Congo)

Minutes played: 3,103


Burnley: Sander Berge

Games played: 42 (34 for Burnley, 8 for Norway)

Minutes played: 3,265


Crystal Palace: Daniel Munoz

Games played: 44 (29 for Genk, 9 for Crystal Palace, 6 for Colombia)

Minutes played: 3,850


Everton: James Garner

Games played: 40 (37 for Everton, 3 for England U21s)

Minutes played: 3,422


Fulham: Antonee Robinson

Games played: 43 (38 for Fulham, 5 for United States)

Minutes played: 3,662


Luton: Alfie Doughty

Games played: 37 (all for Luton)

Minutes played: 2,857


Nottingham Forest: Morgan Gibbs-White

Games played: 39 (36 for Nottingham Forest, 3 for England U21s)

Minutes played: 3,226


Sheffield United: Jack Robinson

Games played: 31 (all for Sheffield United)

Minutes played: 2683


Spurs: Heung-min Son

Games played: 34 (29 for Spurs, 14 for South Korea)

Minutes played: 3,585


Wolves: Max Kilman

Games played: 37 (all for Wolves)

Minutes played: 3,351