Manchester United handed a huge injury boost

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that central defender Eric Bailly will return to full fitness before the turn of the year.

It was clear to see that Manchester United’s defence needed strengthening this summer and manager Jose Mourinho did not waste any time whatsoever in securing the services of Eric Bailly from Villarreal.

Despite Bailly having made less than 50 professional appearances in his career, United decided to splash as much as £30 million to secure the services of the Ivory Coast international and given the huge price tag, the transfer was understandably seen as a bit of a risky one for the Red Devils.

To quash such concerns though, Bailly enjoyed a very strong start to life at Old Trafford and the 22-year-old has already managed to establish himself as a favourite among the club faithful with a number of impressive performances at centre back.

Unfortunately, the defender suffered a serious knee injury during United’s 4-0 humiliation against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge back in October and has been out of action ever since.

In the absence of Bailly, United have struggled defensively and the current centre back combination of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo have looked anything but convincing.

As a result, United fans will be desperate to see Bailly back in action as soon as possible and now as a huge boost, Mourinho has gone on to confirm that the imposing centre back is set to return to action before the end of the year.

The Portuguese manager said, “He is working hard and will be back before the end of the year, for sure. But on 3 January he goes away for a month [to play in the African Cup of Nations].”

Bailly returning to full fitness is clearly a positive but at the same time, he will be unavailable once again due to the African Cup of Nations in January and the Red Devils will be hopeful that they can call on the services of the ex-Villarreal star during the busy festive period before he leaves for Gabon.