At the start of the season, Premier League bosses are aware that they must name a 25-man squad for the upcoming campaign, and that generally applies for other competitions too when you consider that chairmen do not want any players surplus to requirements taking up space on the wage bill. It means that squad rotation comes into play - even when squad members are not necessarily demanding a rest - and unlike in seasons gone by, it is becoming increasingly rare that there will be outfield players who feature for every minute of a league season. Only two non-goalkeepers remain in the running to be an ever-present come the middle of May and it shows that managers are starting to give little thought to the reputation of their star men.
There is currently a tie for the fourth most-used outfield player in the Premier League this season, with Swansea City defender Alfie Mawson and Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure both having started 30 matches this season. Doucoure has enjoyed what is probably the best season of his career and it has led to the Malian international being linked with a switch to the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in the summer. So, you might want to get some bets in on them while you can. If you are not sure where to start TheSportsGeek.com lists several reputable sportsbooks to get you started. The 25 year-old has provided an impressive return of seven goals and two assists from the centre of midfield at a time when the Hornets have had to deal with uncertainty over their head coach. The only game that Doucoure has missed was due to a fifth yellow card being picked up in December.
As for Mawson, he is still considered to be an ever-present with Swansea having a game in hand due to their participation in the FA Cup quarter-finals. The 24-year-old's stock has gone from strength to strength since leaving Barnsley for the Liberty Stadium and the centre-back's form has been rewarded with a call-up to the England squad. At one stage, it appeared that Mawson would need to spend a period on the sidelines after sustaining a knee injury before the FA Cup tie with Sheffield Wednesday, but the defender was back in the starting lineup the following week!
Bournemouth's Nathan Ake currently sits in third place in terms of minutes played by an outfield player in the Premier League this season. After failing to make a mark under Antonio Conte at Chelsea, Eddie Howe paid £20m to sign a player who had initially made an impact during a loan spell at the Vitality Stadium and the Cherries boss has certainly gotten value for money. Ake has netted two goals and two assists from his 30 starts and one substitute outing, with one of those efforts coming against his former club at Stamford Bridge! The 23-year-old may get a move to a bigger team later in his career but for now, the Netherlands international is in the right place.
Defensive players are a popular theme in this list and that continues with West Bromwich Albion's Ahmed Hegazi. At the start of the campaign, the Egyptian international was brought in on loan by then-Baggies head coach Tony Pulis and not much was known about a centre-back whose football in Europe was limited to 13 appearances in Italy. However, Hegazi has been a mainstay in the West Brom defence with the player only missing 33 minutes of Premier League football, which came at the start of the season when he was substituted in the 3-1 defeat at Brighton. Since then, the West Midlands outfit have pushed through a permanent deal for Hegazi and he could have a pivotal role to play in getting his club out of the Championship next season, should their relegation be confirmed.
We will keep you in suspense no longer - the only outfield player to feature for every minute of all 31 Premier League games during the current campaign is Huddersfield Town's summer signing Mathias Jorgensen, who has become somewhat of a cult hero at the John Smith's Stadium. The Denmark international had enjoyed a successful spell with Copenhagen before signing for the Yorkshire outfit and although Huddersfield will win no trophies this season, avoiding relegation back down to the second tier would go down as one of the club's biggest achievements. 'Janka' has made a significant contribution and despite the 27-year-old still awaiting his first Terriers goal, helping Huddersfield to three clean sheets at the start of the season and starring in the famous triumph over Manchester United in October could prove to be the difference.