Nemanja Vidic believes that Manchester United defender Eric Bailly has got what it takes to become a success at Old Trafford
In an exclusive with ESPN, former Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic has spoken about summer signing Eric Bailly, and the potential he has shown over the months to achieve legendary status at the Old Trafford club.
The Serbian 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.”
Bailly moved to Old Trafford this summer for a commendable £30 million fee from Villarreal. A relatively unknown product at the time, the Ivorian has quickly settled into life at Manchester to become a key player for the United setup.
The 22-year-old was voted as the Red Devils’ player of the month for August, and continued his good run of form into October. However, he then suffered an injury, and is still to return to the same level of form he showcased at the start of the season.
Since the departure of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, United have failed to find a decent centre-back pairing that can assure the side to put up realistic fight for the Premier League. The likes of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind have been tried out at the heart of the defence, but none of them have managed to make the position their own.
All four of the aforementioned players have faced lapses in form, and also have a woeful injury record. Jose Mourinho has been linked with a number of defenders, and could find the ideal man to partner Bailly for the longer.
Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez is a name that has been backed to complete a switch to Old Trafford in the summer, and reports suggest that the player is pushing for a move. He could serve as a more than able partner to the Ivorian, and together the duo could marshal the United back line for many more years to come.
However, they will have to act quick as Liverpool are also interested in signing the defender. The Reds have had defensive woes of their own this season, and adding a player of Gimenez’s calibre could see them mount a challenge for the league next season.