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Bailly is eptiome of Manchester United’s squad issues

Bailly is eptiome of Manchester United’s squad issuesEric Bailly is the epitome of Manchester United’s issues both on the field and in the transfer market since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson. The Ivory Coast international was signed for a £30m fee from Villarreal as Jose Mourinho aimed to shore up his backline that had struggled under the tenures of David Moyes and Louis van Gaal.

Bailly slotted straight into the line-up and had a solid first season in the Premier League, but issues would soon arise at Old Trafford regarding fitness issues and selection as Mourinho failed to find a settled back four in his second term at the club.
As a result, Bailly made just 18 appearances in his second year and struggled to find his role under the Portuguese before he was sacked and replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Now Bailly is well down the pecking order at a club that is well off the pace in their bid to win the Premier League crown, currently being backed at odds of +6600 in the Premier League betting odds. The 27-year-old is part of a bloated backline that is no closer to finding a solution for their defensive woes than when he signed for the club six years ago.

In the 2018/2019 Premier League, Eric Bailly had a 74% duel success rate, Virgil van Dijk was the only defender with a better rate (76%).

New manager Erik ten Hag opted not to start the Ivorian in his starting line-up for the opening day of the season, despite the continued struggles of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof. United once again entered the transfer market to attempt to cure their woes with Ten Hag raiding his former club Ajax. But, the club seems no further forward in solving the issue unlike their rivals Manchester City and Liverpool, who notably found life easy to plug in Virgil van Dijk to turn them into one of the most dominant sides in world football.
Bailly is now in purgatory at Manchester United in the same way as Phil Jones is lampooned in the squad, but is no closer to the exit. The Ivorian has not been able to play enough football over the last few years to prove to another club of similar stature that he would be worth buying from United. The Red Devils will not want to lose the 27-year-old for next to nothing, and he himself will be on a solid wage and will not be willing to take a significant cut.

Roma ‘confident’ of signing Manchester United defender Eric Bailly on loan #mufc

The worry for United is that Bailly has a contract at Old Trafford until 2024, with the option of a further year. It is clear that Ten Hag does not foresee that Bailly will be a part of his plans, while even if he does manage to restore himself into the line-up, the defender will have to remain fit and healthy which he has not managed to achieve over the past five years.

Bailly’s situation is another misfire in the squad management at Old Trafford over the last decade, which has seen players remain at the club on huge deals without seeing the field. Ten Hag has a major challenge on his hands to improve results, but also resolve the huge issue of deadwood in the dressing room.

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