Manchester United will have Eric Bailly at their disposal for their Premier League tie against Burnley on Thursday after the defender was recalled from early preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations.
The Telegraph report that Bailly has been drafted back to Manchester as the squad continue to be affected by Covid-19, which saw their fixtures against Brentford and Brighton postponed recently.
It’s added that Bailly has now travelled back to England, having been granted permission to head back to his homeland early ahead of the upcoming AFCON tournament.
A renewed option at centre-back might be exactly what Ralf Rangnick needs after Victor Lindelof missed last night’s draw against Newcastle with Covid-19 and the ensuing shaky display from Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane.
Bailly has been limited to just six appearances across all competitions this season, just as it seemed like the Ivorian had got a handle on the injury troubles that have hurt his career, he now has the impossible task of vying with the experienced Varane for a spot in the United team.
The return of the eccentric centre-back, who makes for enjoyable viewing via his bizarre actions on the pitch (something that United fans won’t quite enjoy), doesn’t bode well for Phil Jones at all.
Jones has been an outcast in the senior squad for years now, but the fact the club have decided to momentarily recall Bailly instead of pushing him up the pecking says it all.
Bailly’s last top-flight outing came as a substitute to shore up the side in Rangnick’s first game in charge, but he has not started a Premier League tie since the draw against Chelsea at the end of November.