Eric Bailly sends ‘crucial’ message to 27-year-old Man United rival

The Manchester United defender insists he will welcome increased competition for a first-team place from Marcos Rojo

Man United defender Marcos Rojo Photo: Hublot

Eric Bailly insists he will welcome the return of Marcos Rojo to full fitness despite increased competition for places at Manchester United.

The Ivory Coast international hasn’t put a foot wrong in Manchester United’s opening seven games of the Premier League this season.

The Red Devils have collected 19 points to leave Manchester United level on points with Manchester City ahead of next weekend’s trip to Anfield.

Bailly has kept six clean sheets alongside Phil Jones in the heart of the Manchester United defence and the Red Devils have only conceded two goals.

Jones forged a promising partnership with Argentina international Rojo before the ex Sporting Lisbon defender suffered a season-ending knee injury.

Rojo is on the brink of a return to full fitness which will leave Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho with five fully fit centre-halves.

Indeed, the Red Devils boss signed Victor Lindelof in a £30.7m deal from Portuguese giants Benfica to rival Bailly, Jones, Rojo, Chris Smalling and Daley Blind.

Manchester United defender Bailly welcomed Rojo’s imminent return to the Red Devils squad ahead of their trip to Liverpool at Anfield next Saturday.

“Of course, I think it’s very crucial. It’s very important too for us young players in order not to relax,” Bailly told Manchester United’s website.

“We have to keep on working because at any given moment the others might see their chance and take it.

“It’s good competition, it creates a positive spirit and helps the team, that’s what we’re aiming for.”

Manchester United finished in sixth place in the Premier League table last season.

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