Eric Bailly’s loan is up at Olympique de Marseille. In theory, he’ll be returning to Manchester United. Practically, however, his time at Old Trafford is almost certainly over.
With Man United looking at several centre-back options, such as Napoli’s Kim Min-jae, Bailly will have to make way, hopefully, for a fee decent enough to support the club’s transfer budget.
His price tag will largely be dependent on how high or low his stock has risen or fallen after the past season. So just how well has the Ivorian defender done?
To begin with, Eric has not seen anywhere near as much playing time as he probably would have wanted.
He’s made only 22 appearances across the entire season, in part, thanks to a continuing streak of poor luck with injuries. To put it differently, for some context, he’s spent 77 days injured across the season. (Stat from Transfermarkt)
He also missed some games due to suspension.
At United, Bailly was frequently criticized for demonstrating a lack of good judgment, with full-blooded tackles being a staple of his repertoire.
At Marseille, this has cost him quite significantly, as a dangerous tackle on Almike Moussa earned him a red card and a seven-match ban to boot.
That said, when he has played, he has been competent.
In the 17 league games he racked up, he got dribbled past zero times, gave away no penalties, and did not make any errors that led to a goal. (Stats from Sofascore).
With Marseille declining their option of keeping Bailly permanently, though, he’ll be free to return to Manchester, where he will find himself well down the pecking order.
Valencia are reportedly interested in the 29-year-old, however, and a move back to Spain, from where Jose Mourinho pried him away as a highly-rated youngster in 2016, might suit all parties.