Eric Bailly’s agent has been creating headlines with the admission the player could consider alternative options.

Bailly’s representative Graziano Battistini told Calciomercato: “If he has the right chances, for me he can be an important player to solve some problems of the team. If all this does not happen, it is clear that the situation will need to be assessed.”

He went onto add Bailly is fully focused on Manchester United, as he should be.

Manchester United v LASK - UEFA Europa League Round of 16: Second Leg
(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

The opinion that Bailly can be an important player for United is not incorrect. But the defender is in a weak position right now.


Bailly is currently out with an injury sustained on international duty last month, although is soon expected to be ready to return.

During his absence, Bailly has slipped down the pecking order. Axel Tuanzebe has stepped up.

Bailly is down to fourth choice, having entered the season hoping to establish himself as Harry Maguire’s partner.

He has not convinced Solskjaer

During the period where he was fully fit between February and September, Eric Bailly could not win a place as a regular starter.

At times it seemed as though he was unfairly overlooked. Bailly had a strong record when he played, but he could not win manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer over.

Whatever your opinion whether Bailly should or should not be in the side, Solskjaer’s decision is the one which counts, and by this parameter, Bailly has his work cut out.

His last performance was the 6-1 defeat to Tottenham. It was a mess of a game all round, but Bailly’s barely establised partnership with Harry Maguire was a weak point.

Bailly has the talent, and his partnership with Maguire could be worked on, but not if he cannot stay fit.

Looming new additions

United were linked with signing a centre-back in the summer although chose not to.

Next summer, it is unlikely the club repeat this. United have been linked with Dayot Upamecano [The Times] as well as Braga’s David Carmo [ESPN]. Many more names will be touted between now and next summer.

While United have Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo to offload, Bailly also risks being moved aside.

(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

If he cannot get regular game time ahead of Maguire, Lindelof, and Tuanzebe – and then a new signing comes in, then his prospects look bleak.

Then there is rising star Teden Mengi who is also in the mix.

Bailly needs to stay fit in order to fight his corner, and his latest setback was a reminder of his poor injury record which has blighted his career.

His agent is right that Bailly’s prospects may need to be assessed. It’s not healthy for a representative to be discussing a player’s situation so publicly, it does not help anybody. Especially right now his client is in a weak position.

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