Manchester United defender Eric Bailly has been ruled out of action for between ‘4-5 months’ with a knee injury he sustained against Tottenham in pre-season, via the Manchester Evening News.
Bailly, who joined the Red Devils from Villarreal in 2016, has suffered with consistent injury problems since his switch to the Premier League giants.
The 25-year-old has missed a total of 53 games for United (per Transfermarkt) through injury so far, with that number set to rise drastically due to his latest set-back. Still, it’s not like he’s being missed thus far, with five players averaging more tackles per game than he did last season (1.3 per WhoScored) and 3/4 of their backline averaging more interceptions over the same period.
The Ivorian twisted his knee during United’s 2-1 victory over Spurs in the 2019 Champions Cup in Shanghai, which saw him miss the rest of the Red Devils’ pre-season.
Bailly’s injury was not feared to be serious at the time, though it has now been confirmed that the centre-half could miss a further five months worth of action, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopeful of his return around Christmas.
Speaking to the press, the Norwegian said: “He’s had an operation and he’ll miss the best part of four or five months, I would think. Hopefully we’ll get him back around Christmas.”
Although Bailly’s untimely injury will come as a blow for United, they do still have plenty of options in the centre-back department.
New £80m signing Harry Maguire is starting to form a budding partnership with Sweden international Victor Lindelof in the heart of a new-look back-line at Old Trafford which has conceded just one goal in their opening two league fixtures. Indeed, their partnership has been praised by top journalists such as James Ducker.
Alongside Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw, United look much more assured defensively, which could be the difference when it comes to them breaking back into the top-four this term, thus ensuring the return of Champions League football next season.
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