Bailly arrived at Old Trafford back in June from Villarreal for a fee in the region of £30 million and has made a bright start to life under Jose Mourinho, and has formed a formidable partnership with Daley Blind.
United have conceded just one Premier League goal so far, and many fans are worried what breaking up that partnership could mean.
On Saturday, Bailly’s international side Ivory Coast qualified for the winter’s African Cup of Nations, which runs from January 14, 2017 until February 5, 2017.
Bailly will be expected to join his side for warm-up matches too, meaning he could be missing for the match at home to Liverpool on January 14, as well as the tough trip to Stoke the following week.
He could also miss the semi-finals of the League Cup, as well as the trip to Premier League champions Leicester on February 4, depending on how the Ivory Coast fare.
Fans are not entirely enthused at the prospect of losing one of their most influential players for so long:
Ah, Bailly actually made it to the AFCON with Ivory Coast last night meaning he'll 100% miss 2 months season, fuck.
— NM (@ffsRooney) September 4, 2016
Shit I just remembered Bailly has to leave us in January for The African Cup of Nations
— khal rie♿️e (@WayneNReigns) September 3, 2016
The reason I hate it when my club signs African players is this damned nations cup.. I'll miss bailly too much when he leaves for that Shit
— cøbhåm (@IceMan_Cobie) September 3, 2016
— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) September 3, 2016
— Ed Malyon (@eaamalyon) September 4, 2016
— Patriot (@PatriotOfori) September 4, 2016
Trust me, Mourinho will get Bailly out of AFCON, you just wait and see. Even if he has to ask Blind to scrape his achilles
— Welshy (@Welsh_Gooner) September 4, 2016
Smh Eric Bailly gonna miss games in January for AFCON. Why is it in January anyways?
— Babz (@Baba_BS) September 4, 2016
we're going to miss Bailly so much in january/february.
— benoît (@schnderlin) September 3, 2016
Bailly out for 5 weeks ffs
— Mo Ruddy (@50SavesOfDeGea) September 4, 2016
What do you think? Will Bailly be sorely missed by United?