Jose Mourinho has revealed that Eric Bailly suffered an injury scare ahead of Manchester United's opening Premier League game against Bournemouth, which they won 3-1 on Sunday (14 August). The Ivorian defender picked up a knock during their Community Shielf win over Leicester City and was a doubt for the game against the Cherries.
The 22-year-old defender, who moved to Old Trafford this summer from Villarreal, put in an impressive shift on his league debut. The Portuguese manager revealed following the game that he was a major doubt, and his performance came after just one training session with the physio and the fitness coaches.
The former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager had admitted to having doubts regarding the Ivory Coast international's pedigree to perform at the top of his game for an entire season owing to his lack of experience, but following impressive outings against the Foxes and Eddie Howe's team, he is likely to be a regular member of Mourinho's starting XI.
United have been linked with a move for an experienced defender to marshal the back four, but the club's board are said to have instructed the manager to trim the size of his squad before making more additions. Mourinho also believes the presence of a stable and experienced midfield and defence helped provide the stability needed at the back, which aided Bailly in putting in an assured performance.
"He was injured against Leicester. He said nothing and played the 90 minutes. The next day he couldn't train," Mourinho said, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.
"He trained with the team for the first time again on Saturday. All week he wasn't training and had a problem. We were lucky because he did amazing work with one physio and one of my fitness coaches and he was able to put in another performance."
"To be surrounded by organisation makes life easier. The team was very solid and very compact. He was surrounded by Valencia on his right, Blind on his left and Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera in front of him so we created a habitat of stability," the Red Devils boss added.