Bailly deserves to retain place against Arsenal despite Maguire availability
Manchester United defender Eric Bailly will be hoping his solid performance against Chelsea is rewarded with a second consecutive Premier League start.
The Ivorian came into the side due to our club captain Harry Maguire being suspended, following his red card against Watford, in what proved to be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s last game in charge of the club.
However, Maguire is available for selection when Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side come to Old Trafford on Thursday.
Although Manchester United have confirmed the appointment of Ralf Rangnick as the club’s interim manager until the end of the season, it remains unclear whether the German will take charge against the Gunners.
If the 63-year-old has to wait for Sunday’s trip to Crystal Palace to take his first game in charge, Michael Carrick will once again take control.
But with Maguire back from suspension, Rangnick or Carrick are now presented with a predicament.
Bailly deserves to reclaim place
If it was Solskjaer still in charge, it would be a no brainer that the former Leicester City man would be brought straight back into the starting line-up.
This happened earlier in the season in the 4-2 defeat at Leicester when a visibly off the pace Maguire was picked over Bailly to play alongside Victor Lindelof.
There is no denying that Maguire’s performances since returning from an impressive European Championship do not warrant an immediate recall at all.
Bailly and Lindelof defended doggedly against the league leaders and they fully deserve the opportunity to build on an impressive showing together.
Rangnick, who is known for his gegenpressing and aggressive, energetic style of play, has the immediate opportunity to make a statement and highlight that no player will be picked off reputation or transfer fee.
With Raphael Varane on the road to recovery, it will be interesting to see who eventually becomes the German’s favoured centre back partnership.
It could even be Varane and Bailly, a pairing we are yet to see this season.
But starting against the Gunners, it’s hard to see how Maguire deserves to slot straight back into the team.
A place on the bench for the world’s most expensive defender (£80m BBC Sport) come Thursday night, is a real possibility.
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