Eric Bailly started life at Man United like a house on fire. Injuries have seriously hampered things since, though it looks as though he’s ready and raring to go ahead of the new term.
After a stunning debut season following a big-money transfer from Villareal, United thought they had found their next Nemanja Vidic. However, Bailly’s form quickly curtailed.
Harry Maguire was signed last season to be that reliable, first-choice centre-half. However, he needs the right partner. Bailly has often shown he has the ability to be that guy. Sometimes, though, the execution lets him down massively.
For me, Bailly’s biggest issue is time out injured. He hasn’t been able to play on a consistent basis, thus he’s finding himself in this vicious cycle that he’s struggling to get out of.
I actually can’t remember the Ivorian ever having a full pre-season, though things being a little different this time around may actually help Bailly. He’s had a few weeks off to let his body rest. Now, he’s back in training and looking raring to go.
The 26-year-old actually posted a message to fans on Instagram just yesterday ahead of the new season, telling supporters simply, ‘I’m back’.
What now for Eric Bailly at Man United?
The last we heard about Bailly was that he was injured a couple of months ago. Obviously, the rest has done him good.
Now, it’s about staying fit. I’ll be the first to admit that I have absolutely zero confidence in Bailly being able to do that. I’ll also say that talent-wise, I still believe he’s our best defender.
It all comes down to just how much Ole Gunnar Solskjaer trusts him. No centre-back has been signed this summer and at this point, Bailly is probably third-choice.
Just one injury could open the door for the 26-year-old. You do get the feeling he’s approaching the last chance saloon, though, and any more time out on the treatment table could spell an end to his Manchester United career.