Eric Bailly better be ready to roll.
Aside from youngsters, Bailly and Daley Blind are the only fit senior center backs in Manchester United’s set-up after Marcos Rojo joined Phil Jones and Chris Smalling on the injured list during Thursday’s UEFA Europa League win over Anderlecht.
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And manager Jose Mourinho isn’t mincing words about his team’s plight. While Ander Herrera and Ashley Young sat out Thursday’s match and will be ready for Sunday’s match at Burnley, Mourinho looks set to call upon 19-year-old Axel Tuanzebe for help.
“We are in trouble,” Mourinho said. “We are in trouble.
“Herrera is fresh to play. Ashley Young is fresh to play and who else? Nobody else is fresh to play! Now we need absolutely everyone and I don’t have to think about Axel Tuanzebe going to the Under-20 World Cup in Korea because maybe Axel has to come now. We need everybody.”
Mourinho also lost Zlatan Ibrahimovic to a knee injury on Thursday, and United’s run-in toward the Top Four is anything but easy. With the Europa League also in play to qualify for next season’s UCL, how will Mourinho use his players?
Earlier this week we discussed whether United should focus on Europa for UCL qualification… now that discussion intensifies.