PROFESSIONAL footballers’ schedules are getting busier and busier.
And fans and managers have been vocal about how often Premier League stars are having to get out on the pitch.
But the packed fixture list hasn’t stopped some bosses from playing their top players as often as they possible can.
And now the list of Premier League players who have played the most minutes across all competitions for their clubs this season has been revealed.
And it could be bad news for Arsenal’s title hopes as they look to keep their first choice 11 fit and fighting for the whole campaign.
Three Gunners feature in the top 10 with Mikel Arteta regularly fielding his best side this term.
New arrival Declan Rice is important to the Spaniard’s plans at the Emirates Stadium, but will have to be cautious not to burn out.
The £105m man has spent 1,484 minutes on the pitch this season, the tenth most in the league.
Ben White is the ninth most played player with three more minutes on the pitch than his teammate Rice.
And perhaps the most concerning for Arsenal fans is that William Saliba has played a whopping 1,530 minutes already this season.
The Rolls Royce centre-back is the joint-third most played player and only one outfielder has played more minutes than him so far.
Many supporters attributed Arsenal’s late crumble last season in their title race with Man City to Saliba picking up a nasty back injury ahead of the run-in.
The North London side were forced to play Rob Holding at centre-back for a number of matches with Saliba sitting out the last 12 games of their attempted title charge.
If Arsenal are unable to balance their squad then they could a similar fate towards the back end of this season.
Aston Villa will have to be careful too with their return to European football meaning they too have three players in the top ten most minutes played list.
Ezri Konsa, John McGinn and Lucas Digne have all played over 1,500 minutes so far and may need to manage their load going forward.
Although Unai Emery may be tempted to keep things the way they are with his side just three points off the top of the table.
Goalkeeping duo Nick Pope and Andre Onana also make the list with Onana playing every minute of every Manchester United game this season.
And the remaining two spots on the list are occupied by Manchester City players Erling Haaland and Kyle Walker.
And although that may be a boost to Arsenal with their main competitors also being forced to play their stars week in week out, the Cityzens have history with busy schedules.
Haaland missed just three games to injury last season and was an inevitable force with his astounding goal scoring record firing City to their treble winning success.