Why Manchester United should release Eric Bailly at the end of the season
According to a report from the Express, Manchester United could lose three players to Juventus as the Serie A champions are considering opening talks with Eric Bailly, David de Gea and Nemanja Matic in January.
All three Manchester United players are currently set to be out of contract next summer and Juventus want to take advantage of the situation by considering offering contracts to the trio in January, as they would be free to discuss terms with foreign clubs.
As far as Eric Bailly is concerned, he joined United from Villarreal in the summer of 2016 when Jose Mourinho was in charge. However, the Ivorian has been very unfortunate with injuries managing a total of 50 appearances in the Premier League in the four seasons he has been at Old Trafford.
The 25-year-old is currently recovering from an injury he picked up in pre-season and his involvement this campaign could be limited as he is expected to be out for another three to four months following a knee operation.
Following the big-money arrival of Harry Maguire from Leicester City, Bailly has fallen down the pecking order under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Irrespective of the defender expected to be out until January, the Sun claim United remain committed and want to offer him a fresh contract as they don’t want to lose him on a free transfer.
While the Red Devils want to avoid losing him for free, the report also suggests that they continue to hold the injured centre-back in high regard despite his recent absences.
Truly, when fit, Bailly is the best defender United have, bar Maguire. But the matter of fact is the Ivory Coast international has barely managed to keep himself fit in the last two seasons.
He has managed to start a mere 29 games over the last couple of seasons and with Manchester United struggling for defensive solidity, his constant absence only has made him more of a liability.
Maguire and Lindelof have been first-choice centre-backs under Solskjaer this season with Axel Tuanzebe their back-up. After shipping Chris Smalling out on loan to AS Roma, Solskjaer has not even included Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones on the bench in the first four games of the season thus far.
As for Bailly, he is out injured until the New Year and after he returns he’ll need to prove his fitness.
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Going by his injury record, the former Villarreal man simply doesn’t look like carving a niche for himself at United. The high-intense, physical and forceful nature of the Premier League is proving a bad fit for the Ivorian and even if he is only 25, the long-term signs aren’t promising.
Bailly is a good defender but injuries have taken a big toll of his career at United. Hence, it’ll be in United’s best interest to release the tough-tackling defender at the end of this season.