Suddenly it appears Eric Bailly might have a chance to save his Manchester United career.
The Ivorian has the opportunity to climb back up the pecking order after Victor Lindelof’s injury.
ESPN report Lindelof faces a month out of action after sustaining a thigh injury against Crystal Palace.
Bailly did not even make the bench for the Premier League fixture. It appeared he was heading for a probable January exit, having not featured at all since his early substitution in the 3-2 win over Newcastle.
Jose Mourinho picked Phil Jones ahead of Bailly on the bench at the weekend, before later admitting he was just rotating his choice of who makes the matchday squad.
Mourinho will have to choose a partner for Chris Smalling in midweek against Young Boys. Bailly or Jones is the choice he has to make.
Bailly’s confidence and form has dropped in recent months after losing faith of manager Jose Mourinho.
He has plummeted down the pecking order and with United expected to sign a defender in January, his prospects did not look good.
It looked likely he would have to leave United to salvage his career.
The £30 million signing from Villarreal now has a chance to stake his claim. If he can’t beat competition from Phil Jones, then there is something really wrong.
A run of games for Bailly could be huge. He can win back the trust of Mourinho, and show he must be kept at Old Trafford.
It would be smarter for United to ditch Jones, Marcos Rojo, and perhaps just roll Chris Smalling’s contract over for a further year, while keeping Bailly.
Even if a new defender is signed in January, Bailly can still play a big role. He now has a chance to earn it.
For success, Mourinho must give Bailly confidence. He must tell him he is his starter for the next month. Let him make mistakes. Stick with him. The defender should come out at the end of it looking back to his best.