Eric Bailly returned with a dominant performance for Manchester United in their 1-0 win over FC Zorya Luhansk in the Europa League.
The 22-year-old Ivorian certainly didn’t look like somebody who had just returned from a serious injury. He went typically full-blooded into every tackle and won so many of them because his timing was spot on as always. Aerially as well he didn’t hold back and threw himself into duels without thinking of holding back at all.
I’ve not seen a defender do that since Nemanja Vidic at Man United. He’s a warrior defender, somebody who doesn’t care about putting his body on the line at every point for the team – that’s the sort of defender you can build your team around.
Even when he was down injured, Bailly refused any help he was offered:
I’ll be honest in saying I’m surprised Bailly wasn’t taken off a bit earlier seeing as we’re playing Spurs on Sunday in what I consider to be a much more important game but I’m happy to see him back in action.
Bailly is a boss, a leader, and we need that at the heart of our defence which has leaked too many weak goals. With him back in the team I’m immediately more confident we won’t let anything slip at the back.
Will he play on Sunday? It’s all down to whether he is fit enough but with an eight hour flight back after a full 90 minutes in Ukraine the game against Spurs might come a bit too early. That being said, if it is up to Bailly then he’ll be in that starting XI!