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Eric Bailly out for two to three months

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Manchester United’s best defender will have surgery on his ankle injury.

Manchester United v Leicester City - Premier League Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Sad news, friends. Eric Bailly, who has missed the last month or so with an ankle injury, is to have surgery to clear up the problem. Speaking to MUTV today, Jose Mourinho didn’t rule the central defender out for the rest of the season, but did say that he’d likely miss the next two months at the very least.

Which is pretty miserable all round. Though young for a defender, Bailly has quickly established himself in the first team and would almost certainly be starting ahead of Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, and Victor Lindelof. With him out until at least the middle of February, and potentially longer, one of those three is going to have to step up their performances. And Phil Jones absolutely cannot get injured. Again. Oh dear.

Alternatively, since it’s nearly January, an emergency dip into the transfer market might be an alternative solution. United would be looking for a short-term signing: somebody experienced, reliable, and capable of performing at a high level consistently. Could it be time for the joyous return of Wesley Michael Brown?