Jose Mourinho has revealed that Eric Bailly will be back in contention for the starting eleven before the end of the year as the centre-back has missed the entirety of November due to a knee injury. However, he will not be around for too long as he will again be leaving the Red Devils to join his national team for the African Cup on Nations on 3 January.

The Red Devils have a host of injury problems at the back, with Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw also missing out with setbacks. However, the Portuguese manager got Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo in the mix, who were impressive against Arsenal at home, where they were unlucky to come back with only a point. United were leading the game through Juan Mata, who scored a brilliantly goal, but were pegged back by Olivier Giroud, who scored with the Gunners' only shot on target in the 89th minute.

"He is working hard and will be back before the end of the year, for sure," the manager confirmed on United's official website. "But on 3 January he goes away for a month [to play in the African Cup of Nations]."

The Red Devils are currently sixth on the table, nine points adrift of league leaders Chelsea. They have have made major progress in the Europa League, beating Feyenoord 4-0 at home, to give themselves a massive chance of making it to the knockout stages. Henrikh Mkhitaryan made a much anticipated start in the game and put in a brilliant performance, something the manager remarked on after the game.

Eric Bailly
Eric bailly has missed the majority of the season with a knee injury GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images

"The reception [from the fans] he deserved because he played very well. Always improving, improving, improving, improving until the moment he was really tired and I felt it was the right moment to take him off and to let him come off with a very good performance. It was important for his confidence and he will try to keep adapting and trying to replicate this kind of quality performance in the Premier League which is a competition with different difficulties," Mourinho said about the Armenian.