Why extending Bailly’s contract is not wise for Man United
According to The Sun, Manchester United are prepared to extend Ivorian defender Eric Bailly’s contract.
The 25-year old’s current deal at Old Trafford expires next summer and United are not ready to let him go for free.
However, Bailly, who joined Old Trafford for £30m three years back, has played only 74 games in all competitions for the Red Devils.
The Ivorian never looked settled at the club, as his time at Old Trafford has been dampened by injuries and inconsistent form.
Earlier in April, the defender had suffered a ligament injury in his right knee while playing against Chelsea in the Premier League, according to the Metro.
However, Bailly, who returned once again for the Red Devils, picked up an injury against Tottenham in a pre-season friendly and had to finally undergo surgery.
Since then, the Ivorian has not featured in a single game for the Red Devils and has been on the fringes this entire season.
Meanwhile, the United board are keen to extend his deal and do not want him to walk away for free, as claimed by the Metro.
Including Bailly, United have six defenders in their squad at the moment. Joining him on the list of injured defenders is youngster Axel Tuanzebe, who impressed with his decent displays at the beginning of the season.
Other than Bailly and Tuanzebe, Ole currently has summer signing Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones at his disposal.
With Ole often deploying Maguire and Lindelof together, Rojo and Jones have found it extremely difficult to start games this season.
In fact, Rojo has started only once while Jones is yet to make an appearance. With as many as six defenders fighting for a place in the squad, it remains to be seen as to how Ole could fit the injured Bailly in his team.
So far, Bailly has played a total of 50 matches in the Premier League and has 1 goal to his credit. Before moving to England, the centre-back had played 47 matches for his former side Villareal over a period of two years.
He was at his best for the Red Devils in his initial season (2016-17), where he recorded an overall defensive rating of 7.23, according to Whoscored.
He made 24 Premier League appearances that year and had an average of 2.4 tackles, 2.4 interceptions and 5 aerial clearances per game. (Source: Whoscored).
Since then, Bailly has made just 26 appearances for United in two years. This raises serious doubts regarding the player’s fitness and that is something Ole and the board must consider before extending his contract.
From a professional point of view, such inconsistency is definitely unacceptable.
Thus, United extending Bailly’s contract does not seem like a wise decision from any angle.
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With Ole favouring a Maguire-Lindelof partnership at the back – and with the other three still in contention – Bailly is nothing but surplus to requirements.