Manchester United are facing an anxious wait over the availability of Eric Bailly for their trip to Watford on Sunday (18 September). The defender picked up a knock during the Red Devils' 1-0 loss to Feyenoord in the Europa League on Thursday (15 September).
The defender suffered a heavy collision in the first–half of the game in Rotterdam and following treatment was able to complete the rest of the game despite his movement being restricted initially after the collision. Bailly has been ever-present in Jose Mourinho's squad since his arrival from Villarreal this summer and along with David de Gea, he is the only player to have played every minute of their first five games of the season in the Premier League and Europa League.
According to the Manchester Evening News, the Ivory Coast international was set to be assessed by the United medical staff on Friday (16 September) before the Portuguese manager made a decision on whether to include him in the squad travelling to Vicarage Road. Chris Smalling is available and could replace the 22-year-old at the heart of the 20-time English champions' defence, if he is unfit for the clash against the Hornets.
The Ivorian defender has impressed since his arrival in a reported £30m ($39m) deal from Villarreal and has quickly become a fan favourite at the club. He was voted United's player of the month in August and has nailed down his place as a regular member of the starting XI despite Mourinho airing concerns with regards to his experience to play regularly at the top level.
Bailly has thanked his teammates for helping him settle down well at the club and believes the good connection between him and defensive partner Daley Blind is the reason for his consistent performances in the opening four games of the Premier League season.
"I'd like to thank my team-mates for all the help they gave me. I'm standing here today thanks to them, with the Manchester United Player of the Month award," the Ivory Coast defender told the Red Devils' official site.
"Daley has a lot of experience in the Premier League and the combination between us two has worked very quickly.
"I think it's precisely the manager's strategy: there's a good connection between us. It's important for the defence and I hope it will go on like this," he added.