Eric Bailly praised by former Manchester United captain

Former Manchester United defender and captain, Nemanja Vidic has praised Eric Bailly, suggesting he could go a long way at the Theatre of Dreams, providing his careers hits the right path, of course. Bailly was signed by Jose Mourinho last summer in a £30 million deal from La Liga side Villarreal. Many wondered why such a large fee had been paid for a relatively unknown player, but as it does most of the time, the players made his critics eat their words after his first few competitive appearances saw him win Man of the Match award twice. Seeing the Serbian leave the club in the summer of 2014 was a sad time for many, especially in that he achieved so much success under Sir Alex Ferguson, being a true bargain back in 2006 when he signed for the club, winning the Premier League five times, a UEFA Champions League and a FIFA Club World Cup, among other things.

The 22-year-old Ivory Coast defender could be a player to achieve what Vidic did at the Old Trafford club, helping his side to two trophies already this season in the FA Community Shield and the EFL Cup. The chance to win a European trophy, albeit the UEFA Europa League will be a good opportunity for Bailly and United, which could see United back in the Champions League next season if they fail to qualify through their final league position in May. Vidic spoke to ESPN, reported by the Mirror about Bailly, how he started at United, his injuries, and his potential, which will be seen as some good praise for the player, giving him something to aim for and some inspiration. Vidic said:

“Eric Bailly started really well with a steady two or three months. 

“Then he was unlucky with injury and the African Cup of Nations.

“He’s aggressive, he has potential, he’s young and he likes to defend. He has the qualities to go even further.”

This season may not have been the best for Bailly, but looking ahead to what will be a busy month, the likelihood that the Ivorian will play in each match is high with both Chris Smalling and Phil Jones on the sidelines through long-term injuries sustained on international duty, meaning that Bailly, Marcos Rojo, and Daley Blind are the only experienced defenders in the first team with Axel Tuanzebe able to step in if needed. With the lack of defensive reinforcements, the likelihood that Mourinho will play five at the back is slim, as he will need reinforcements on the bench should any further injuries hit the side. United will face West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon, needing a victory to keep the pressure on Arsenal, who lie below them at this current time, Liverpool and Manchester City, who sit above them.

Bailly has a good career ahead of him. His first season in Manchester saw a composed, tough and threatening defender, which is something that is needed at the club. Getting a partner who is more of the same will be better heading into next season. United have been looking at defensive reinforcements already with Victor Lindelof, Jose Gimenez, Raphael Varane, among others linked with summer moves. Some of these may be the case of newspapers making things up to gain popularity, but others might possibly have some legs. The main thing is that Vidic feels Bailly has settled in well in Manchester, playing to the best of his abilities, and earning his plaudits. Long may that continue, and if it does, it could go a long way to seeing Manchester United reach the promised land once again.

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