The reasoning behind his benching of Bruno Fernandes, with the Manchester United midfielder taken from the firing line during a trip to West Ham, has been exposed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
In his time at Old Trafford, the Portuguese international became a talismanic presence for the Red Devils.
High expectations have been maintained by an on-field leader in 2020-21, with 10 goals and five assists added to the common cause.
However, Fernandes is an energetic athlete who needs to be rested for his own good sometimes.
He may be the object of some harsh treatment from critics, with some of those trying to contain United having to be shackled by his imaginative qualities.
With that in mind, Solskjaer decided to call Fernandes among his replacements at the London Stadium, and with the games continuing to come thick and heavy.
Marcus Rashford was also chosen among the substitutes, with him shaking off a shoulder issue picked up in a loss in the Champions League to Paris Saint-Germain.
Solskjaer told Sky Sports to explain his selection calls: “Lately, Bruno has been kicked between pillar and post. He got a kick against Southampton, and he’s another one that I’d prefer not to use if I don’t have to use him.”
Rashford is reasonably fit to be on the bench. Of course, we need all the points we can get in these games, and Marcus kept up his arm with a bad shoulder, and he said he was ready if necessary.
Although Fernandes and Rashford remain at the disposal of Solskjaer, David de Gea was a notable absentee in east London from United’s matchday squad.
In the last outing of the Red Devils Premier League – a dramatic 3-2 victory at Southampton – he was forced off but returned to the fold for a 3-1 turnaround against PSG.
The Spaniard is still battling for full match fitness, Solskjaer admits, with both the decision made not to gamble against the Hammers.
After Southampton’s injury flared up a little bit, so we didn’t want to take a chance with David, so we kept him at home,” added United’s boss.”
With De Gea ruled out the first Premier League start for United was handed to Dean Henderson.
With four consecutive victories collected away from Old Trafford, he will be looking to help Solskjaer’s side continue their impressive recent run on the road.