Manchester United could be bolstered by the return of Eric Bailly this weekend as they face Leeds.
The Ivorian centre-back has been missing for the past month, having tested positive for COVID-19 whilst on international duty.
As a result, he missed the last five matches in all competitions, sitting out three Premier League games along with both legs of United’s Europa League quarter-final tie with Granada.
However, he is now back in training according to the Red Devils’ official website, handing the team a huge boost for the final month of the campaign as they attempt to secure a place in the top four as well as aiming to win the Europa League.
Whilst Bailly has by no means been first choice under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season, having started just 13 matches in all competitions and being behind Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof in the pecking order, he provides excellent injury cover should neither of the aforementioned options be available.
For instance, with Maguire being suspended for the second leg against Granada, Solskjaer was forced to deploy Axel Tuanzebe at centre-back. Whilst not the worst selection the manager could make, the United youngster is probably not a viable option long-term as the Red Devils continue their challenge for honours.
Bailly returning means that the Red Devils have an “immense” defender (in Solskjaer’s own words) they can call upon should either Maguire or Lindelof indeed suffer an injury or become suspended once more during the final few matches of the season.
Whilst the return of the £80,000-per-week defender might not initially be perceived as having a massive impact for Manchester United, it could be pivotal in terms of squad depth for the remainder of the season.