Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof look to be competing for a spot with each other next year and the competition between them is paying off for Manchester United defensively.
Of course they have made mistakes here and there, maybe they can be attributed to a couple of dropped points lately. Lindelof could have been stronger in the West Brom game, but the offense could have been better.
Man United’s defense has been better lately, maybe at the expense of the offense, but there are plenty of injuries to key creative players like Paul Pogba, Edison Cavani and Donny Van De Beek, all attack minded players.
In the first three league games United gave up 11 goals. Over 30% of their total goals allowed in the first three games is understandable and excusable. It does inflate their goals allowed tally in the league, as well as the two games where they scored 15 goals.
Some anomalies have created dubious narratives about United, they are a good defensive team especially lately.
Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly are slowly winning me over, both of them have looked solid in the past few weeks.
Bailly and Lindelof have been rotating the starting center back role opposite of Harry Maguire for the last nine games in all competitions. That trend could continue against AC Milan if Bailly starts, he was impressive on the day.
Since giving up three goals against Everton, United have only given up two goals and have kept four straight clean sheets in six league games. In cup games and Europe they have also been solid, blanking a Real Sociedad team that is strong offensively.
It is a possibility that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is assessing both players before the summer. Both players have contracts that go beyond this summer, but Bailly’s runs out in 2022 and if United do not sell him before this January, he can leave on a free.
He will be assessing how much it will cost if they do bring in another defender, an extremely costly center back might not be needed. Another decent signing will likely come in and further push the two.
Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof’s career at United is all speculative, both are good players, it is great to see them playing well. United are going to need them if they want to finish off the season strong.