Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Reveals Why Bruno Fernandes Was Benched for West Ham Trip

Max Cooper
Fernandes won't start against West Ham United
Fernandes won't start against West Ham United / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed before kick off that his decision to drop Bruno Fernandes to the bench against West Ham was down to a slight injury niggle.

The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes against Paris Saint-Germain in Wednesday's Champions League fixture, and the 3-1 defeat means Man Utd can't afford to slip up against RB Leipzig next week or they'll face an unwanted elimination at the group stage.

The games have been coming thick and fast of late, and Solskjaer clearly had one eye on Tuesday as he named his starting lineup for the game at the London Stadium.

Fernandes was dropped to the bench alongside Marcus Rashford, while the Norwegian also touched on why David de Gea had been left out of the squad entirely.

"Marcus (Rashford) and Bruno are two important players for us, and they've been kicked between here and there lately, especially Bruno's foot has been sore since the Southampton game," he told the club's media before kick-off.

"The decision was easy to keep him out, hopefully I don't have to use him tonight. "The injury (for De Gea) against Southampton is something that we don't want to take a risk with, so obviously he played against PSG and hopefully we can have him ready for the Leipzig game as well."

Solskjaer hopes he won't have to use Fernandes against West Ham
Solskjaer hopes he won't have to use Fernandes against West Ham / Robin Jones/Getty Images

Solskjaer was able to name Paul Pogba in his starting lineup for the first time since United's 1-0 defeat at home to Arsenal, while Donny van de Beek was rewarded for his recent impressive cameos with a place in midfield alongside Scott McTominay.

"We have a strong team, it's selection headaches every time," Solskjaer added. "So of course, they get a chance to prove their worth and show what they can do. They've had a stop-start season as well but they're ready and I'm confident they'll perform tonight.