Eric Bailly Returns, Likely Sending Chris Smalling to the Bench


Manchester United central defender Eric Bailly will officially be back in action tomorrow at Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup fifth round clash. Both the club and manager Jose Mourinho have confirmed that the Ivory Coast international has recovered from his ankle injury and subsequent surgery, which has kept him out of action since November.

Bailly, who has missed United’s last 21 competitions, was projected to return in March, or perhaps the end of February. Thus, he’s back well ahead of schedule. It’s also not a moment too soon, as the central defense has really been suffering lately.


It is thought that the return of Bailly could now drop Chris Smalling to the bench, and that would be well deserved after his absolutely dreadful performance at Newcastle last weekend. Smalling became an international punchline on social media for his awful form at St. James Park. Smalling’s partner, Phil Jones, has had his struggles as well recently as he conceded an own goal at Tottenham Hotspur. To his credit though, Jones was honest about how poorly the team performed last weekend at Newcastle United.

United supporters are very vocal, and excited, about the idea that an Eric Bailly return means that Smalling gets dropped.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC and Chicago, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

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