Eric Bailly to miss the whole of January due to Africa Cup of Nations

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Eric Bailly will prove to be an excellent signing for Manchester United if he carries on performing like he has in recent weeks.

Doubt initially surrounded his £30 million move for Villarreal but, alongside Chris Smalling at centre-back, he looks the real deal and could even be the Red Devils' answer to Nemanja Vidic.

Strong, fast and still only 22-years-old, Bailly really is an exciting prospect.


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United must prepare to be without their summer signing for a month, though, when he departs for the African Cup of Nations on January 5, 2017.

Ivory Coast, who are the reigning champions, secured their place in next year's tournament with a draw against Sierra Leone on Saturday.

Worse still, Bailly will be absent for United's heavyweight bout with Liverpool at Old Trafford, alongside games against Hull City, Stoke City and potentially Leicester City at the beginning of February.

As you can probably expect, fans were furious upon learning that Bailly will be unavailable during such an important part of the season.

Here's how they reacted to United's tweet congratulating the centre-back.


One fan looked at the bright side - if you can call it that...

Jose Mourinho will be particularly saddened by the prospect of not having Bailly - who has two man-of-the-match awards to his name so far this season - at his disposal throughout January.

The Portuguese boss has been thoroughly impressed by his performances and, following United's opening day victory over Bournemouth, suggested he will only get better.

"When you buy somebody like him you have always a question mark which is the way," Mourinho said.

"The personality has to adapt to a completely different situation to before. Playing in Spain is a completely different situation to playing in England.

"Playing for Villarreal is different to playing for Manchester United. Playing to finish four, five or six in the table is different to try and win it.

"But he is showing big personality which is incredible. The reality is that he is showing great qualities."

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