Manchester United now have a defensive crisis in their hand, even before we are half way through the international break.
Injuries have not been kind to the backline for Jose Mourinho this season as he has not been able to settle into a center back pairing that can find some consistency.
And just as it looked like Mourinho was able to stick to a pair, he was given a huge blow early in the international break after it was revealed that English international Phil Jones, who was selected in the team to face Lithuania in the qualifiers, withdrew from the squad with an injury.
The 23-year old reportedly broke a toe in training and could be out for up to four weeks but that is not the worse news for the Red Devils from this break.
Another Manchester United defender in Chris Smalling was withdrawn from the English national team with a reported injury.
Though the reports are yet to confirm the severity of the player’s injury, it is understood that he would not be available for the first game after the break for the Red Devils.
Mourinho’s side play nine crunch games in April including games against Manchester City in the league, the FA Cup semi-final, and the Europa League round of 16 ties against Anderlecht.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 24, 2017
With a game almost every four days on the horizon, Mourinho will need all his squad in full fitness and this double injury blow will leave them short at the back.
Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo are expected to be the center back partnership if Smalling is not back for the game against the Baggies while Axel Tuanzebe, who has been involved with the first team and Daley Blind can deputize if needed. But surely, Smalling’s injury can easily turn into a season-defining one for Manchester United.