De Gea and Maguire among PL 'ever-presents'
Harry Maguire could become the first Manchester United outfielder in 25 years to play every minute of a Premier League season, should our captain feature throughout each of our remaining nine fixtures.
The summer signing from Leicester has started and finished every one of our 29 league games, totalling 2,610 minutes, since signing from Leicester City last summer.
And, once football returns after the coronavirus pandemic, Maguire will be aiming to match our former centre-back Gary Pallister, who achieved two ever-present campaigns, in 1992/93 and 1994/95.
Pallister’s achievement is made even more impressive when you consider that the Premier League consisted of 22 teams for its first three editions, and, therefore, our centre-back completed 42 full matches.
Maguire is joined in the ranking of Premier League minutes played this season by 14 other players, including team-mate David De Gea.
The Spaniard, who has missed just one league game in the last three years, is aiming for a second consecutive campaign of never being out of the team, having been ever-present during the 2018/19 season.
The only other Red to have achieved the feat is also a goalkeeper, with Peter Schmeichel a constant presence in net in 1992/93.
Maguire, who didn't miss a single minute during his maiden season at Leicester either, will hope to avoid joining the ranks of three United legends who have fallen agonisingly short of the mark.
Pallister’s defensive partner Steve Bruce started all 42 games in 1992/93 but was substituted during a 5-0 win over Coventry City, while a similar fate befell Denis Irwin the following year – the Irishman was replaced by Ben Thornley 12 minutes before the end of a 2-2 draw at West Ham United.
In 2005/06, Edwin van der Sar quickly established himself as first-choice goalkeeper and started every game as we finished second behind Chelsea.
The Dutch international, however, had to be replaced by Tim Howard at half-time during our 3-1 win over Portsmouth in February, due to injury, preventing him from completing a full 3,420-minute season.
Of course, it's important that we recognise that many Reds will have managed the feat in the pre-Premier League days, when squads were smaller.
For example, in our title-winning 1964/65 season, which was the last campaign before substitutes were permitted, Shay Brennan, Bill Foulkes, Tony Dunne and John Connelly were all ever-present, while George Best, Nobby Stiles and Bobby Charlton only missed one game apiece!
UNITED PL EVER-PRESENTS
Gary Pallister (1992/93, 1994/95)
Peter Schmeichel (1992/93)
David De Gea (2018/19)
PL EVER-PRESENTS IN 2019/20 SO FAR
Conor Coady (Wolves)
David De Gea (UNITED)
Rui Patricio (Wolves)
Martin Dubravka (Newcastle)
Ben Foster (Watford)
Harry Maguire (UNITED)
Ben Mee (Burnley)
Jordan Pickford (Everton)
Nick Pope (Burnley)
Declan Rice (West Ham)
Mat Ryan (Brighton)
Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester)
James Tarkowski (Burnley)
Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
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