Man United 2021-22 Season Ending Player Review: Eric Bailly

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Manchester United have finished the campaign and it is time for putting things in perspective. The Red Devils have started the season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, before Ralf Rangnick came in to try and save it. There was no saving it, with the squad that was clearly not compatible enough and with too many players looking worse than in the previous seasons. But among all of those players, there were those who did not really play much and could not help out the team. There was Eric Bailly, someone who Man United fans almost forgot about, as they seldom had the chance to see him play.

He did play during this past season, but this was another campaign former Villarreal defender will want to forget. Ever since he arrived to United from Spain in 2016, Bailly has spent more time on the sidelines than on the pitch.

Appearances across all competitions

There really were not many performances. In total, Eric Bailly made seven appearances across three competitions. He made four games in the Premier League, two in the Champions League and one in the league cup. His first game of the season was the Champions League match against Atalanta, when United drew 2-2 in Italy. That was early November and Bailly did well to last all 90 minutes. He also played 90 minutes against Young Boys in the final game of the group stages. But throughout the season he was also unlucky. While he did play a meager amount of minutes, he also left the club for international duty just when he was getting back to fitnes. He missed four matches in January due to Africa Cup of Nations, where he once again had no luck to earn an ankle injury. This kept him in the sidelines for another month.

Did he perform above or below the expectations?

Considering everything, it is clear that Eric Bailly performed below the expectations. It was not like Man United fans expected a resurection from the Ivorian, but Bailly once again proved everything most fans already thought of him – he is far from being one of the two best centre-backs and his constant injuries are preventing him to get the necessary rhythm to try and get the most out of a tough situation for other centre-backs in the squad. Bailly used to have some good performances when given a proper run, but these days he is unable to remain healthy for long enough to earn that run.

Will he be a part of Manchester United during the 2022-23 season?

Most probably not. Eric Bailly was wanted by AC Milan during the January transfer window and the club did not want to let him leave on loan. This summer, however, the club will be ready to let the Ivorian go, as Erik ten Hag will probably be bringing in other centre-back(s). Bailly’s time at Old Trafford had been marred with injury after injury and this past season just confirmed what everyone around the club already knew. It is time for a change…

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