Since arriving at Old Trafford, Eric Bailly has had a mixed time.
Like many, when he joined he was touted for big things but as time has gone by, he hasn’t seemed to be one of Jose Mourinho’s favoured players.
This has been even more evident with today’s rumours that he will leave Manchester United in January.
However, will Bailly be missed in the United defence if he does make his way in a few months?
2017/18 Player Comparison
As eluded to above, Bailly found it incredibly hard to force himself into the Manchester United team. Whether that was due to the injuries he picked up or just being out of favour.
With this resulting in him playing just 13 games, we’ve compared his statistics per 90 minutes with the other United centre backs for a clearer reflection.
When looking at it this way, its fair to say that Bailly didn’t have a terrible season on the pitch compared to his teammates.
Despite playing considerably less minutes, he averaged the joint-most tackles out of the five players above with 0.86 per 90 minutes as well as the joint-best aerial duel success rate of 69.75%.
What was also impressive was the amount of interceptions Bailly averaged compared to his counterparts. Coming second with two interceptions per 90 minutes is not a bad achievement especially in the climate of football we are currently in where defenders are expected to be very proactive.
However, In the above statistics we can see why it may have been hard for Bailly to stay in the United team last season.
Playing under a manager who would like to be challenging for the title, its understandable that he would take every detail into consideration when making his team selections. With Bailly and Rojo handing the initiative and goal-scoring opportunities over to the opposition more often than others, you can see why they’d start less often.
When looking at the statistics, it’s clear that Bailly is a good defender and this is something Mourinho probably knows too. However, with Bailly struggling to get a run of games under his belt it could become increasingly difficult to throw him back into the mix.
With this in mind, even though his statistics show that he can mix it up with United’s other defenders. It may be best for him to move on to kick-start his career and start playing regularly again which is something Manchester United could live to regret when looking at his statistics.