Eric Bailly as a regular starter is probably our second-best, maybe even our best centre-back. Now, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has given his take on that situation.
The Ivory Coast international left fans feeling mightily impressed after a top display against Luton Town on Tuesday. I thought it actually looked like he’d never been away.
It was a performance of maturity, aggression, anticipation and perhaps most importantly, speed. It looked like the version of Bailly we all loved during his stunning debut season.
Since then, though, injuries have seriously hampered the centre-half. Simply put, he hasn’t been able to stay fit for any prolonged period of time – meaning he hasn’t been able to get back to that consistency of playing high-level matches.
Touchwood, though, it looks as if the worst is now behind him. Now, Solskjaer has hinted that the £80k-a-week star (Sportekz) could be the regular starter now that he’s fit again.
Check out what the Baby Faced Assassin has to say here:
“I think last season proved to us how we can defend at our best. Last week wasn’t fantastic, we conceded sloppy goals but I think our defensive record from last season showed with Eric and Harry how good a partnership they were, but also defending as a team.”
“Eric [Bailly] is fit again, a big, big plus and looking forward to seeing him develop and play more games. We’ve been waiting him to be fit and play more regularly.” Solskjaer told reporters, including the Manchester Evening News.
Personally, I get the impression that Solskjaer prefers Bailly as Harry Maguire’s partner over Victor Lindelof. The fact that he boldly claimed it’s a ‘big, big plus’ to have the 26-year-old back tells you as much.
Look, as a third or fourth choice option, Lindelof is solid. The problem is, he makes way too many big mistakes. That cost United vital points at the weekend and Solskjaer is undoubtedly losing patience in The Ice Man.
The question remains, can Bailly stay fit? If he does, there’s every chance he becomes the regular starter. It’s a massive if, mind.
I’d definitely start Bailly this weekend as he has the speed which can cover Maguire’s weakness. Brighton wouldn’t be the easiest of fixtures to through him back into the mix – but it looks like he’s ready for that chance.
Should Eric Bailly be our regular starter? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.