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Eric Bailly may well end up missing several weeks of Manchester United's season and fans are worried about the impact the loss of their new centre-back could have on their title ambitions.
Bailly arrived at Old Trafford back in June from Villarreal for a fee in the region of £30 million and has made a bright start to life under Jose Mourinho, and has formed a formidable partnership with Daley Blind.
United have conceded just one Premier League goal so far, and many fans are worried what breaking up that partnership could mean. On Saturday, Bailly's international side Ivory Coast qualified for the winter's African Cup of Nations, which runs from January 14, 2017 until February 5, 2017.
Bailly will be expected to join his side for warm-up matches too, meaning he could be missing for the match at home to Liverpool on January 14, as well as the tough trip to Stoke the following week.
He could also miss the semi-finals of the League Cup, as well as the trip to Premier League champions Leicester on February 4, depending on how the Ivory Coast fare.
Fans are not entirely enthused at the prospect of losing one of their most influential players for so long:
We shud av Signed Fonte, naw dat Bailly has to go for AFCON in Jan, we r gonna miss him mehn #MUFC- Lush (@Parish_Crookz) September 4, 2016
Eric Bailly is in the Ivory Coast squad for the AFCON meaning he won't be in the Utd squad for 5 weeks!- Jordan:globe_with_meridians: (@DeadlyRashfxrd) September 4, 2016
Don't know why everyone is congratulating Bailly knowing that he will miss almost a month due to AFCON. That too at the crucial time. #MUFC- JamesHames (@JdotJames) September 3, 2016
Shit I just remembered Bailly has to leave us in January for The African Cup of Nations- khal rie:wheelchair:e (@WayneNReigns) September 3, 2016
Ah, Bailly actually made it to the AFCON with Ivory Coast last night meaning he'll 100% miss 2 months season, fuck.- NM (@ffsRooney) September 4, 2016
The reason I hate it when my club signs African players is this damned nations cup.. I'll miss bailly too much when he leaves for that Shit- cøbhåm (@IceMan_Cobie) September 3, 2016
Smh Eric Bailly gonna miss games in January for AFCON. Why is it in January anyways?- Babz (@Baba_BS) September 4, 2016
Bailly out for 5 weeks ffs- Mo Ruddy (@50SavesOfDeGea) September 4, 2016
Will United's failure to bring in another centre-half come back to haunt them in January or will they cope without the impressive young Ivorian? Have your say in the comments section, below.
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