Solskjaer has opted to promote 21-year-old Axel Tuanzebe to the bench after Eric Bailly’s pre-season injury. However, should an injury occur to Harry Maguire or Victor Lindelof, there will be a lot of pressure on the youngster who is unproven in handling such circumstances…
Upon Bailly’s return, it is assumed that he will make it back to the bench as Man Utd’s third-choice centre-back. However, the Ivorian defender has reportedly been of interest to the Italians Juventus.
Should Bailly opt to leave the club to fulfil a similar role in Serie A, Man Utd need to look at replacements. Although Solskjaer enjoys relying on his youth, it is not enough defensive firepower to achieve a top-four finish.
With this in mind, Solskjaer should be looking for a replacement defender who can step-in for Maguire or Lindelof in games that Axel Tuanzebe might not cope with.
Here are two defenders who would be good options to replace Bailly…
Ramos will be 34 years old next summer. He will soon see much less game time in his career, particularly at national level.
This could inspire the seasoned professional to make a big-money move for the remaining years of his career. With his contract expiring in 2021, his fee could be considerably less than what Bailly with fetch from Juventus.
Having Ramos as a rotational defender for one or two seasons whilst Tuanzebe gains experience would cover a potential weakness in the line-up. Furthermore, his fiery nature, experience and leadership qualities are exactly what this Man Utd side needs.
In the same vein, Bonucci, 32, is a seasoned professional who might accept rotational football for a large wage to fulfil a similar role Ramos could, a temporary fix whilst prospect Tuanzebe becomes ready to make an impact.
With Juventus looking to make a large number of transfers, they may be willing to part with this world-class defender in exchange for Eric Bailly.