According to reports, Manchester United have recalled Ivory Coast defender Eric Bailly from his AFCON preparations in an emergency situation ahead of the Premier League clash against Burnley on Thursday.
Manchester United initially granted Eric Bailly permission to fly out to Cameroon to join the Ivory Coast squad early for the African Cup of Nations’ preparation. But the 27-year-old defender has now flown back to England to join back with the first team ahead of the Premier League clash against Burnley.
The Red Devils drew their last game 1-1 against Newcastle United who sits 19th in the Premier League table. The performance of the entire team was disappointing. The frontline seemed completely on different wavelengths. While the midfield and defense struggled too.
Summer signing Raphaël Varane has massively struggled with injuries this term. Varane made his return back from injury in the Newcastle game but looked unfit and struggled to cope with the pace of the game.
Sweden captain Victor Lindelof is currently set to miss the Burnley clash after he tested positive for Covid-19. Long-term absentee Phil Jones was the only center-half present on the United bench against Newcastle.
Eric Bailly looks set to replace Raphael Varane in the heart of the defense. But with the center-back returning to Manchester, he will now miss the Ivory Coast’s African Cup of Nations opening game against Equatorial Guinea on 12th January 2022.
Eric Bailly’s situation at Manchester United
The Ivorian center-back signed a new deal with the club this summer. Bailly’s initial deal was supposed to run out at the end of the current season. But the new contract keeps him at the club until 2024 with the option of a further year.
Despite the new contract Bailly has struggled for game time. He has just made six appearances in all competitions for Manchester United and made just three appearances in the Premier League this term. (state via Transfermarkt)
The center-back showed promise in the first season with the Red Devils. But since then his career at Old Trafford has been hampered with constant injuries. He has never quite cemented his place in the starting line-up. Since his switch to United, Bailly has made 112 appearances for the Red Devils in all competitions. (stats via Transfermarkt)
Reports also suggest that United’s interim head coach Ralf Rangnick is keen to keep hold of Eric Bailly for the winter months. This may be the perfect opportunity for Bailly to cement his place back in the starting line-up and revive his career at Old Trafford.
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