Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that defensive duo Eric Bailly and Timothy Fosu-Mensah will resume full training next week.

Speaking ahead of the Europa League clash with AZ Alkmaar, Solskjaer was quoted by the club’s official website as saying: “Diogo [Dalot] is back. Nemanja is back. Rojo is hopefully back next week.

“Eric [Bailly] and Timothy [Fosu-Mensah] are training with the team from next week onwards.”

The pair were pictured in a training session at the end of November, but have just been in light sessions doing individual work. This is a big step forward.

Can the pair make a difference to United in the second half of the season?

(Will Russell/Getty Images)

Bailly’s pace could be vital

If Bailly can get himself fully fit – which has been all too rare since his 2016 arrival – it would be a major boost.

Bailly, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Axel Tuanzebe would form a better selection of central defensive options than United have had since the departures of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.

 

Marcos Rojo has been an able deputy, but it was perhaps Bailly’s pre-season injury which spared him and Phil Jones from the exit door in the summer.

(Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Fosu-Mensah a versatile option

Fosu-Mensah’s London loan spells with Crystal Palace and Fulham have not been greatly successful.

But he remains a powerful, versatile option for Solskjaer, capable of operating at right back, defensive midfield and centre half.

That would give United three young right backs and perhaps allow Diogo Dalot to add to the competition on the left of defence, where Ashley Young needs phasing out.

After years of ageing wingers Young and Antonio Valencia at full back, United suddenly have better, younger options floating around.

The most exciting option is to play Fosu-Mensah in midfield, but he might need to go out on loan to get a regular opportunity.

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