Eric Bailly: Who is Manchester United's new signing?

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Football News

The post-Louis van Gaal era at Manchester United has got into full swing, with the announcement that Villarreal defender Eric Bailly has become the first signing under Jose Mourinho.

Many fans that do not follow La Liga closely are unlikely to have heard of the 22-year-old, and the transfer could be seen as somewhat of a risk given his relative inexperience.

Here we look closely at Bailly, his breakthrough in Spain, and what he can offer United.


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Bailly was born in the town of Bingerville in the Ivory Coast on April 12th 1994. Little is known about the early stages of his career, with his first move to Europe coming in 2011 when he joined Espanyol's youth teams.

Due to issues over his work permit, he didn't make his debut until the 2013-14 season, where he played for the Spanish side's reserves.

After making 21 appearances for the reserves, the then 19-year-old, was given his debut in October 2014 against Real Sociedad.

Just four games later and he was on his way to 'El Submarino Amarillo' (The Yellow Submarine) for a fee of £5.7 million in January 2015.

He made 10 appearances in his first part-season, and in his first full season last term, he solidified his place in the side, featuring in an impressive 25 games.

These displays have seemingly caught the eye of 'The Special One' who has brought him to Manchester for a reported £30 million.

Now, given that he has made less than 50 senior appearances, this move and the fee involved could be seen as a risky move by Mourinho and Ed Woodward.

However, in Bailly, they have a talented defender, who puts in displays that are beyond his 22 years.

There is plenty of potential for him to adapt successfully to the Premier League and become the key rock at the back, that United have been missing since Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic both left the club in 2013.

At 6ft 1", he has terrific aerial ability, and is willing to put his body on the line to defend for his team.

His reading of the game is almost always spot on, although there are some question marks over his discipline.

He is a powerful, pacy defender, who is not afraid to go into challenges, and would usually be expected to come out the winner.

He has yet to score a senior goal, so Manchester United fans should not expect Bailly to contribute very much in the attacking end, but he will more than make his mark in his defensive role.

If Jose Mourinho can control the Ivorian's temperament and prevent him from making those occasional rash mistakes, then he and Manchester United could very well have a top player on their hands.

Have Manchester United overpaid for Eric Bailly? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!

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Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
Eric Bailly
Premier League
Ryan Giggs
Cristiano Ronaldo
David Beckham

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