- Mourinho refuses to rule out Man Utd being without Bailly for rest of season
- Defender hasn’t played since November 5 due to ankle problem
- United have impressive defensive record with or without him
- READ MORE: Manchester United 1-0 Bournemouth player ratings, stats and reaction: Lukaku breaks goal drought and Luke Shaw earns long-awaited start
Although Man Utd’s defensive record would suggest that they’ll be fine without him, it will be a huge blow for Jose Mourinho to see Eric Bailly suffer a setback.
United have conceded just 11 goals in 17 games so far this season, the joint-best defence in the Premier League along with leaders Man City.
In turn, Mourinho has been able to rely on a defensively sound backline for the majority of the season, with Bailly only featuring in eight of those games.
Speaking after his side’s win over Bournemouth on Wednesday night though, Mourinho failed to rule out the possibility that Bailly could be sidelined for the rest of the campaign if the current treatment he’s receiving for his ankle injury.
“I think it’s serious,” he said, as quoted by The Mirror. “We’re trying a conservative treatment, but if the conservative treatment is not working, he might have a surgery procedure.”
Specifically when asked if surgery could end his season, Mourinho replied: “I don’t want to be pessimistic, I want to leave it with the doctor.”
That doesn’t paint a particular positive picture for Bailly, and with the fixtures coming thick and fast this month coupled with Man Utd hoping to compete on various fronts deep into the year, they will miss the quality and depth that he provides, if the injury does indeed force him to miss the entire campaign.
Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and summer signing Victor Lindelof should provide more than enough solidity and cover, but losing Bailly is undoubtedly a setback.