Tag Archives: eric bailly

Forget Bailly: Man Utd should look at these 2 replacements with Italian giants circling

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…

Sergio Ramos

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.

Leonardo Bonucci

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.

Juventus look to take 3 more Man Utd players to Serie A

The Italian giants are pre-planning their world domination with a list of transfer targets to approach in the January and Summer transfer windows…

Three of Juve’s transfer targets are current Man Utd players, as yet another Italian club looks to tout Manchester’s talent.

Since Solskjaer’s arrival, Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Matteo Darmian and Chris Smalling have all departed for Italian clubs, Inter Milan, Parma and Roma respectively.

Man Utd’s current squad is a mismatch of previous manager’s signings, homegrown talents and new signings. But it looks as though Solskjaer is weeding out players that don’t fit his vision for the future of the club.

Although fans seem to be on board with Ole’s reshaping of the squad, losing these players to Juventus would be a huge blow to the side…

Eric Bailly

Despite regular injuries, Eric Bailly is a quick, fierce and competent defender, old-school with his challenges. If Juve is looking for a brilliant defender to step in as a squad player, Bailly is a great option.

However, for Man Utd, losing Bailly would not be such a good thing. Without Harry Maguire or Lindelof, Solskjaer’s next option is Axel Tuanzebe. Should the youngster struggle with first-team football, the only experienced defenders to step in are Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo. Both have been under-performing for several seasons.

Nemanja Matic

Matic featured almost every game under Jose Mourinho but has been dropped to the bench behind Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba.

His one appearance this season was as a substitution in an attempt to get a win against a defensive Southampton. It’s safe to say that he had no impact whatsoever.

Moving Matic out of the squad would allow for Fred to be given more opportunities to show what he can do, an in form Fred could change Man Utd’s midfield crisis.

David De Gea

The worst thing for Man Utd to happen is for the world’s best goalkeeper to walk out of the door for free.

Amid talks of a £350k per week contract, it is likely that the Spaniard is holding out to see if the Reds can achieve Champions League football. If they fail, De Gea’s wage will decrease to £263k per week.

In January, De Gea can enter negotiations with European clubs. With Man Utd’s poor form and poor squad, a top-four spot is a long shot. Meaning this could be De Gea’s last season at Old Trafford.

2 players who should have their contracts renewed at Man Utd, agreed?

Man Utd has eight contracts expiring at the end of the 19/20 campaign. One of which is David De Gea, who is rumoured to be extending his contract with the Reds. The Football Manc Cave have picked out two other players who must have their contracts renewed for the betterment of the club…

Man Utd is currently in the process of a ‘rebuild’. The team selections against Chelsea and Wolves saw last season’s regular starters either on the bench or sat at home. For example, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Nemanja Matic, Ashley Young and Juan Mata. This demonstrates the inefficiencies of last seasons squad and how the Reds need to move on from the lacklustre side they have been in recent years.

Ashley Young could be an option as a rotation full-back. But with the likes of Diogo Dalot and Axel Tuanzebe able to perform in those positions, his services are likely to be unnecessary.

Nemanja Matic has the option for a further year, but his services should be ended if Man Utd can land a few decent midfielders in next summer’s transfer window, or January’s. Matic’s strengths do not align with the high-pressing, fast-paced and quick-thinking philosophies which Solskjaer is trying to instil into his squad.

Man Utd has several players who need moving on or having their contracts terminated. But which two contracts should Man Utd definitely extend and why?

Timothy Fosu-Mensah

This Dutch 21-year old is the type of player who doesn’t come by too often. He plays all across the backline as well as central defensive midfield. He has gained experience with Crystal Palace and Fulham on loan deals but was cursed with an injury last season.

Many ponder why this youngster isn’t in Man Utd’s first-team squad, especially with tremendous weaknesses in the central defensive midfield role.

If Fosu-Mensah can remain fit he would be a fantastic, versatile and talented squad player for the Reds.

Eric Bailly

Before Victor Lindelof became a fan favourite last season, most Man Utd fans agreed that Bailly was their best defender, when fit.

Bailly is perfect for Solskjaer’s Man Utd, he is good with the ball, only 25 years old and a very brave and committed defender. His ability to bring the ball out from the back is far beyond that of Chris Smalling’s and fairly superior to Phil Jones’, who both have crippling weaknesses in other areas.

With 7 senior defenders, Man Utd should offload Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, fetching the club around £50million. Leaving their best four defenders at Solskjaer’s discretion.

Bailly’s injuries have plagued his career with Man Utd so far. But a fully fit Eric Bailly could work well with both Maguire and Lindelof. Should they ever need a back three, Man Utd’s defence on paper would be impenetrable.

Should Man Utd’s medical team deem Bailly’s injury too serious, terminating his contract would be understandable.

Two reasons why Man Utd shouldn’t renew injury-prone defender’s contract

Man Utd is looking to renew the contract of an injured defender who contracts runs out next summer…

Although there have been obvious and exciting changes to Manchester United on the pitch, it appears the boardroom has stayed the same. According to reports, Man Utd want to extend Eric Bailly’s contract by triggering a 2-year extension.

The reason behind this is to ensure that the Ivorian defender doesn’t leave on a free transfer at the end of the current season.

This is insanely terrible business and management of the club, here are two reasons why…

Woodward never learns

Man Utd has been plagued with a ridiculous wage structure, Marcus Rashford earning more than Raheem Sterling says it all.

Bailly currently earns £120,000 a week, which will surely increase during negotiations of the contract extension. This means that Man Utd, once again, will not be able to sell the individual because they cannot match the player’s wages. We have seen this with Marcos Rojo failing to join Everton on deadline day.

In the coming years, Woodward will be trying to profit on a £30m transfer for Bailly from Villareal made in June 2016. With his high wages, his ever-increasing age and being very injury-prone, it is highly unlikely that any club would pay north for £30m or be willing to match or increase his wage.

7 is definitely a crowd

Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe are all senior centre-backs. This is far too many to establish defenders without pushing two or three players into the reserves.

Chris Smalling is far from a fan favourite. Phil Jones himself is injury prone but potentially more reliable than Eric Bailly.

It is great to have aggressive defenders who love a crunching tackle. But there are too many arguments as for why Eric Bailly should be let go from the club.

Two qualities Maguire will finally bring to Man Utd’s backline

Harry Maguire has completed his long-awaited move to Old Trafford. Here is how one man from Sheffield can fix Manchester United.

Harry Maguire has become the world’s most expensive defender after joining Man Utd from Leicester for a reported fee of £80million.

Fans of the great Red Devils have been keen on bringing in a new defender for many years, particularly after the frequent injuries of Eric Bailly.

Maguire was in the spotlight during England’s 2018 World Cup in Russia. The centre-half pitched in with goals and assists in a competition which brought the nation together over the love of football, making a name for himself on the biggest stage.

Regardless of the huge price tag, public interviews and interactions with Harry Maguire show him to be a very humble and hard-working professional. Solskjaer has added a great character to his dressing-room. But what has he added to what we see on the pitch?

Ball playing centre-half

Manchester United struggle immensely with bringing the ball out from the back. The only top-quality defender in the side, Victor Lindelof, has begun to do this more often since the arrival of Solskjaer, to great effect.

However, pre-season taught us that Rojo, Smalling and Jones are incapable of playing from the back. Often running into trouble and losing the ball.

By having Harry Maguire in the squad, there will be two defenders able to carry the ball forward, preventing the fear of leaving a weakness alone at the back. Maguire completed 17 ‘take-ons’ last season. This is more than any other centre back in the Premier League.

So, not only is Maguire capable of bringing the ball into the midfield, he is one of the best at it.

Aerial wins

Solskjaer’s defence falls apart from set-pieces. They are completely lost when it comes to handling aerial threats in their own box.

This is where the ex-Leicester City man steps in. According to the following statistic from a football statistician who is frequently seen on MUTV, “Harry Maguire won 73% of his duels in the Premier League last season, Virgil van Dijk (76%) was the only CB with a better success rate (minimum 2000 minutes played).”

Therefore, David De Gea will have two fantastic defenders in front of him. Capable of dealing with a multitude of threats.

With Harry Maguire’s aerial abilities and desire to transition the ball into midfield, you can expect this Man Utd side to concede fewer and score more. A great signing for Manchester United.

Look forward to it Man Utd fans. How many stoppage-time headers will Maguire score this season?

Man Utd injury forces Woodward’s transfer hand

Eric Bailly is injured once again, but there may be some silver lining to this sad story for Man United.

Man Utd’s Ivorian defender Eric Bailly suffered a knee injury in their pre-season match again Spurs. In an attempt to block the goal from a cutting-inside Son Heung-min, Bailly found himself hitting the ground on several occasions in a matter of second, due to the South Korean ‘fake shooting’ inside the box. The attack amounted to nothing, but Bailly’s season could have been over in that moment.

Bailly’s knee injury has been a recurring problem since he joined from Villareal in 2016. According to Man Utd fans, Bailly is regarded as their second-best centre-back, behind the recently in-form Victor Lindelof.

In the three years that Bailly has been at Old Trafford, he has only made 50 Premier League appearances. This is an average of less than 17 PL appearances per season. There is no doubt about his talent, but his injuries make him too unreliable for a team trying to win trophies again.

The silver lining

Man Utd has been in talks with Leicester City’s Harry Maguire. In typical Man Utd fashion, the deal has been prolonged in an attempt to lower the price as much as possible.

Ed Woodward’s slow negotiations have caused great frustration to the fans over recent years, but especially this summer. However, with Man Utd’s second-best centre-back being spotted in Manchester with a cast on his leg, Woodward may ‘be forced to meet Leicester’s £80million asking price for Harry Maguire’, according to the Mirror.

With Maguire in the squad, the missing piece of Man Utd (a solid defence) will finally be complete. As Solskjaer’s attack during pre-season looks almost complete.

Could Manchester United Sell Eric Bailly This Summer?

Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United tenure at Old Trafford was marred by a number of expensive transfers that failed to pan out for the club.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic comes to mind (due in no small part to a severe knee injury), while the Paul Pogba saga will likely reach an ugly conclusion in the near future. Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez are another 3 signings that failed to live up to expectations. 

Another of those is central defender Eric Bailly, who has dealt with a seemingly endless stream of injuries since arriving in Manchester in the summer of 2016. The former Villarreal man suffered a knee injury this past April that ultimately cost him an appearance in the Africa Cup of Nations, where he was scheduled to play for his native Ivory Coast. 

Man United have big expectations for the coming season, though oddsmakers are skeptical of their chances at competing with the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool in the Premier League next term.

These top UK betting sites have the Red Devils listed around 33/1 to win the English topflight in 2019-20, which gives them the fifth-best odds of any team in the division. 

While most believe Bailly will remain with the Red Devils into the upcoming season, the player is worried he could be sold. United have already been active in the transfer window with the signings of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James, but Ed Woodward still has his sights set on England and Leicester City star defender Harry Maguire.

Leicester City holding out

However, Leicester has remained steadfast in their hefty £80 million asking price for Maguire’s signature, which could certainly complicate a potential move this summer. That said, the Metro says that sources close to United believe a deal will still get done before the window slams shut later in the summer.

Maguire signing would give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a wealth of options in central defense. Too many, actually. That would give the Red Devils seven central defenders capable of contributing first-team minutes. While the Norwegian reportedly wants a larger squad with Man United having to compete in Europa League this season, it is believed that at least one
of those centre backs will be sold prior to summer’s end.
Victor Lindelof is firmly established as Solksjaer’s first choice to potentially pair with Maguire, while longtime United stalwart Chris Smalling’s spot in the side is safe, as well.

Solskjaer went so far as to label Axel Tuanzebe as the “future” of Manchester United following the club’s recent 1-0 win over Inter Milan in preseason play, so it’s safe to assume he’s not going anywhere, either.

Man United stars fight it out

That leaves Bailly, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo to compete for the last couple of spots on the squad. With both Jones and Rojo having signed new deals with Man United within the last year, Bailly is worried that could mean he winds up being the player sold before the summer window comes to a close.

Rojo signed a new 3-year deal with the club in 2018, which prevented him from leaving on a free transfer. Jones signed a 4-year deal of his own earlier this year, with Solskjaer vouching for the player following his appointment as Mourinho’s successor.
Bailly currently has one year remaining on his deal with the club, though Man United do retain the option to extend the contract for another 12 months if they so choose. There have reportedly been no new discussions between Bailly’s representatives and the club regarding a potential new contract, though the player is reportedly set to speak with Solskjaer at some point in the coming days to discuss his future with the club. 

Bailly arrived from Villarreal for £30 million in the summer of 2016, and he was solid during his first campaign with the side. His spot in the pecking order has taken a hit over the last couple of seasons due to injuries, however, which has resulted in the team’s brass looking at other options to fill the position.

Barcelona eyes up Man Utd centre back, 2 reasons why he has to stay

Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof finds himself on Barcelona’s radar this summer according to the Mundo Deportivo.

Nightmares are becoming reality for Manchester United fans. Hasan Cetinkaya, Victor Lindelof’s agent, said that “Lindelof is in the orbit of a great European club, but leaving United depends on the English club.”

Barcelona has recently signed Frenkie De Jong, who happens to be under the same agent as Lindelof. According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona has made several enquiries about Lindelof, being shown the ‘not for sale’ sign on each occasion.

The Man Utd centre-back partnership had been chopped and changed throughout the season, as both managers looked to find their best defensive set-up, both concluding that a better defender needs to be signed for the club.

In recent weeks, Manchester United have been linked with Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti, as the reds fight for a new, solid centre-half who they hoped would partner up with Lindelof.

However, it is highly suggested that the most likely outcome will be Harry Maguire to Manchester United, and Umtiti may see himself at PSG involving a swap deal for Neymar, Barca Blaugranes reports.

Most Manchester United would much rather see Lindelof remain at the club for many years. Here is why…

The only top quality centre back

Lindelof was by far the fan favourite defender last season. After scrutiny over the quality of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, and the injury-prone Eric Bailly. The ‘Ice-Man’ Victor Lindelof showed great improvement throughout the campaign and shone under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Jose Mourinho.

Lonely Lindelof needs a long-term partner

Manchester United fans were delighted to hear that Victor Lindelof would finally have a defensive partner who can competently guard David De Gea between the sticks. Unfortunately for them, Barcelona would be a huge upgrade on Manchester United. Should Lindelof push for a move away, and have Maguire step in to replace him, there would still be only one competent defender surrounded other defenders who are not fit to be challenging for titles in the top tier of English football.

Manchester United’s rebuild should be entirely based on an improved defence, something Jose Mourinho fought for since 2017.

Two in-house options for Man Utd to West Ham’s Issa Diop

How can Ole Gunnar Solskjaer improve the Man Utd defence without spending big this summer?

If the links between Manchester United and defenders such as De Ligt, Maguire, Koulibaly and Diop hold any weight, it proves that the Manchester United board are desperate to add a world class defender to the mix. However, with Man Utd, they seem to be displeased about the drastic inflation of the price of defenders, as players like Wan-Bissaka and Issa Diop are being bid for and rejected.

It is rumoured that West Ham are looking for a similar price to what Liverpool paid Southampton for Van Dijk; £75million. However, much like with the case of trying to haggle for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, United entertained a swap deal where West Ham enquired about Anthony Martial for Issa Diop, to which Ed Woodward reportedly responded with a £45million bid plus Phil Jones.

It is evident that Manchester United need to massively improve their defence but are not willing to part with the cash.

With this in mind, here are two cheaper alternatives to signing Issa Diop or any other £60million+ defenders…

Axel Tuanzebe

Tuanzebe, 21, has just finished a fantastic loan spell at Aston Villa where he was a huge factor in the club’s promotion to the Premier League, so much so that Villa are desperate to keep hold of him. With Axel Tuanzebe’s future under scrutiny, many Manchester United fans are questioning the ambition of the club by not giving the 21-year-old future star a contract but are happy to give a three-year contract to Juan Mata, a 31-year-old. Many would argue that Tuanzebe is ready for first team football at Man Utd, including the kid himself.

Eric Bailly

When fit, Bailly is a joy to watch. His aggression, energy and ferocity bring nostalgia to United fans who remember United greats from Steve Bruce to Nemanja Vidic.

However, injury setbacks resulted in Bailly never getting a fair run of games to find stability and form, hence the odd mistake here and there. If Bailly and Lindelof can strike up a partnership and remain injury free for most of the season, it could save Man Utd the pain of risky record signing fees whilst still achieving a solid defence to protect the goalkeeper throughout the new season.

2 Man Utd players that are holding Solskjaer back that need to leave this summer

Man Utd Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

What two Red Devils are holding back Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in his fight for a top-four spot next season?

Manchester United are supposedly undergoing a rebuild, according to their beloved manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. However, their only acquisition so far has been a confirmed young Welshman from Swansea; Daniel James.

In the 2018/19 campaign, Manchester United finished at an unimpressive sixth position in the Premier League standings. Scoring the second lowest amount of goals in the top six, with 65, above Chelsea who had 63. However, United did concede the most amount goals in the top six, at a massive 54 goals. For context, Man City conceded 23 and Liverpool conceded 22.

It’s clear that both creating and stopping goals has been an ongoing issue for Manchester United, so who’s to blame?

Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku has had two seasons at Old Trafford, costing them upwards of £80million to Everton. With regards to immaturity and room for development for younger forwards such as Rashford and Greenwood. It is clear that a striker who can provide more than Lukaku can is needed, whilst the youngsters have time to grow and compete for the number 9 spot.

Phil Jones

In the eyes of most Manchester United fans, Phil Jones as the last choice centre-back. Unfortunately for them, Manchester United seem to disagree. By bringing in a solid, world-class centre-back to partner up with the fan favourite Victor Lindelof, it allows the likes of Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly to feature as rotation defenders. Manchester United have far too many centre-backs to hold on to each one if pursuits for a newcomer go to plan.

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