Jose Mourinho: Why Man United need Eric Bailly ahead of Tottenham clash

The Manchester United manager hails the return of Ivory Coast defender Eric Bailly

Jose Mourinho has welcomed the return of Manchester United defender Eric Bailly ahead of their clash against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon.

The Ivory Coast international returned to the substitutes’ bench for Manchester United’s trip to Everton in the Premier League last weekend.

However, Bailly was handed a watching brief as the Red Devils conspired to surrender a lead and draw 1-1 with Ronald Koeman’s side at Goodison Park.

The summer signing hasn’t featured for the 20-time English champions since suffering a serious knee injury in a 4-0 defeat by Chelsea in October.

Mourinho made Bailly the first signing of his Manchester United reign after the Red Devils paid Villarreal £30m for the centre-half’s services.

The under-pressure Manchester United manager hailed Bailly’s return to fitness ahead of the visit of Spurs in Sunday afternoon’s fixture at Old Trafford.

“We need that [Bailly’s return],” Mourinho told United’s website. “It’s impossible for the same players to play every match and in this moment we are having that because of a lack of available options.

“So to have Eric back is good news, even though it is only for a few weeks because we know he goes to the Africa Cup of Nations very soon [in January], but at least in this busy period of Christmas we have one more option. That’s important.”

Manchester United have drawn their last three Premier League games after 1-1 stalemates with Arsenal, West Ham United and Everton.

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The Red Devils have managed to record two victories in their last 11 Premier League fixtures.

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