Just by way of the eye test, Eric Bailly performs like a more accomplished defender than Victor Lindelof.

Bailly is faster, stronger, and more alert to danger than the increasingly hapless Swede.

The Ivory Coast international’s claim for a starting spot is strongly backed up by statistics too.

Luton Town v Manchester United - Carabao Cup Third Round
(Photo by Nick Potts – Pool/Getty Images)

Get past Bailly if you can

Since Bailly returned to action in February, he has been solid and United have been hard to score against when he has been on the pitch.


In a total of 870 minutes of first team action, Bailly has conceded just three goals.

These game against Norwich, Bournemouth and LASK. Apart from those three strikes, Bailly has kept United’s goal well protected.

By comparison, in just 90 minutes against Crystal Palace with Victor Lindelof in defence, United conceded three goals, the same number Bailly has in 870.

The decision should be made

While it would have been nice to see Teden Mengi get a first ever start for United at Luton, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had some more immediate planning to do.

Bailly started alongside Harry Maguire, in preparation for a defensive partnership which should start this weekend.

While Lindelof is not a total lost cause, the time has come for him to spend a stretch on the sidelines.

Bailly has waited patiently for a run in the team, and was harshly overlooked for the Europa League semi-final after a strong quarter-final performance.

Luton Town v Manchester United - Carabao Cup Third Round
(Photo by Nick Potts – Pool/Getty Images)

His defensive record has been overlooked, and it is time he gets the credit he deserves.

While injuries will be a concern for Bailly, right now he is fit, and United have to use him.

If he does not start against Brighton on Saturday then it will be unjust, and a big disappointment.

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