Since there hasn’t been a lot of official football played in the top leagues outside of the World Cup and Ivory Coast didn’t qualify for the competition, we haven’t heard a lot about Eric Bailly of late.

The Manchester United defender was loaned to Marseille for the season with an option to buy set at around €6m, with the hope he played well enough to entice the French side to trigger the clause.

So far, it’s been a mixed bag for the centre-back, because while he has played well when called upon, he has also spent a lot of the time injured.

That has been the story of his career since swapping Villarreal for Manchester United back when José Mourinho was in charge, and also why the Red Devils were happy to see him leave this summer, offloading a problem onto someone else.

Now, the player is still recovering from his latest setback, and Marseille are doing whatever they can to ensure his second half of the campaign is as seamless as possible.

This is according to Le Phocéen journalist Romain Haering, who said: “He was part of the tour, but wasn’t used in the same intensity as his teammates. The Marseille staff are letting him come back bit by bit. They especially don’t want to injure him. If they have to wait for mid-January, they will. 

“They want a competitive Bailly, a Bailly that doesn’t get injured during the second half of the campaign, even if that’s utopian. The objective is to be able to use him as much as possible in the key games.”

As for whether Marseille should sign him from Manchester United, he said: “If you really want to make your team progress, it’s players like him that you need. Bailly is still very good. For Marseille, a guy like Bailly at 100%, you won’t have another, so we don’t have much choice. If we want a player of his level, you have to take that risk.”