Injuries are potentially damaging Eric Bailly’s Manchester United future

A few games into this season Eric Bailly was being touted as one of the best defenders in the league and a Manchester United defender for years to come, who the team and the manager can rely on to perform in the big games.

Bailly was even considered indispensable last season playing in all but 13 games in the league for the reds and being a huge part of the cup wins in the EFL Cup and the Europa League.

Fast forward 6 months and the Ivorian is even struggling for games when fit, recently being left out of the squad in three of the last four games, most notably for the FA Cup semi-final win against Tottenham last month. So what has gone so wrong for a player who was so important for Mourinho last season?

The thing that has severely cost Bailly, especially this season is that he appears to be very injury prone, and it is something that Mourinho must see as a problem and he is appearing a bit of a liability with constantly being on the sidelines.

Even though he was such a big part of the United team last season he wasn’t without injury and he did miss a period of the season with a knee injury that put him out for a couple of months. He was then out for a month in October last year, in a period where he was playing so well, with a contusion. But then just a month after he returned from that injury, he suffered a major ankle injury against Chelsea that put him out for over four months, in a very important part of the season.

During that period, even though United didn’t play badly, they suffered their worse part of the season around the Christmas period, losing ground to Manchester City in the league as well as going out the Carabao Cup to Bristol City in December. It’s no coincidence that losing Bailly coincided with this period of the season, and it is something the Reds cannot afford if they are going to challenge for major honours next season.

Bailly also suffered a whole host of injuries at his previous club Villarreal, where he suffered, knee, shoulder and hamstring injuries that cost him important games for the Spanish side. You can’t help getting injuries, its part and parcel of the game, but when one of your best defenders is getting injured and missing so many games then it becomes a real concern and it needs addressing.

There has been a number of defenders names from abroad being touted as targets for Mourinho this summer, and it might be time to start seriously thinking about splashing the cash like Man City and Liverpool have done in recent months to get in a consistent and reliable defender that will play the majority of the season.

There is no doubting the 24-year-olds ability, he could be one of the best centre-backs we’ve seen at Old Trafford, but clearly, there is something wrong that needs addressing if he is to become one of those greats. If it isn’t sorted out then his career at Old Trafford could be thrust into doubt this summer, as United look to strengthen the defence before next season.

Written by Dan Pearce

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