Second in the Premier League with a Europa League tie on the horizon, things are OK at Manchester United. It’s not hedonistic over at Old Trafford, but neither is it total meltdown time. It’s fine.
Just two wins in their last six league games have seen the Red Devils drop seven points behind league leaders Manchester City, who have a game in hand, so the title challenge ship has probably sailed, but silverware and Champions League qualification is still achievable.
However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have a few injury issues to contend with. Let’s run through them quickly.
World Cup winner Pogba was facing a ‘few weeks’ on the touchlines when he initially pulled up lame during the 3-3 draw with Everton earlier in February.
Speaking at the time, Solskjaer revealed: “It’s an injury that will take a few weeks to heal. He’s just started his recovery, working with the medical staff and we’ll get him back as soon and as safely as we can.
“Of course, Paul has been very important for us and we’re not going to take any risks. A few weeks definitely.
That was back on the eighth, so reason stands that he could be back in a week or so. That would likely rule him out of the Europa League tie with Real Sociedad and the following Premier League clash with Newcastle.
The home fixture with Sociedad could be a possible return date, or failing that the trip to Chelsea.
Bailly, who hasn’t played since the 2-1 win at Fulham back in January, was fit enough to be named on the bench for the West Brom, so he’s essentially up to speed again. He has picked up injuries with regularity since signing for the Old Trafford side back in 2017.
He had been involved in a car accident prior to the shock defeat to Sheffield United before suffering a fresh injury in training ahead of the Everton draw.
The Ivory Coast international may even be given another shot at centre back sooner rather than later, given United’s obvious struggles during the 1-1 draw at the Hawthorns.
Harry Maguire bemoaned United’s supposed lack of support from referees after Sunday’s game, citing Victor Lindelof’s tussle with Mbaye Diagne as a supposed foul. A foul was not given and the Senegal international’s goal was allowed to stand.
Solskjaer somewhat shockingly admitted Jones could still have a part to play this season.
The England international underwent knee surgery in October and hasn’t played for the club in over a year. He has been building up his fitness and will play for the club’s youth sides before any prospective return to senior football.
Solskjaer said earlier in February: “Hopefully he will get his fitness back sooner rather than later and can be available to play.”