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Why £30m Spent On This Ivorian Kicks Off A Great Summer For Manchester United

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Manchester United had a tough 2015-16 campaign under the Dutch manager Louis van Gaal, but the team still managed to book a place in the Europa League. The road to the qualification was surely a tough one as a lot of questions were asked about the strategies and squad selection of Louis van Gaal.

The Dutch was majorly criticized for his poor and “Boring” tactics and eventually, the Manchester United board decided to sack him. Well, to be completely honest; the squad is to be equally blamed for giving away such a poor performance, van Gaal did what he could, but the team was constantly failing to find an end result. There surely were many cons of having the Dutch gaffer for one more season at Old Trafford, but looking at the positive aspects, he gave many things to cheer about.

He gave the academy graduates their chance, besides that; we saw our skipper, Wayne Rooney performing in a completely different position. But along with those, what impressed us the most was the performance of Daley Blind at the center back area. Injuries forced van Gaal to use the Dutch midfielder/left back as a center back and many questions were asked. We do agree that Blind is not a long term solution as a defender, but the Dutch international impressed every spectator with his concrete and materialistic performance.


With a new manager at the helm, a major overhaul is expected at the Theatre of Dreams and Villarreal’s defender Eric Bailly was constantly linked with a move to Old Trafford and it is now official that Manchester United have completed the move for this Ivorian for £30m. Bailly is surely a new name in the industry, but his stunning performances in the 2015-16 campaign has impressed many European clubs.

Eric Bailly

Now, talking specifically about Bailly; he started his club career at the age of 18 with the Spanish side Espanyol. After playing just 5 games for the club, he joined fellow La Liga team Villarreal on a reported fee of £4.3m back in January 2015. Bailly had a cagey start to his Villarreal career as he appeared in just 11 games in the 2014-15 season. But the 22-year-old defender impressed everyone in the following season (2015-16) and helped his side to reach up to the Semi Finals of the Europa League and eventually finished his campaign with a top-four finish in the league.

What the football pundits have observed about Bailly is his willingness to win the ball, the defender never gets afraid to confront the opponent to win the ball back and that quality of him brings positivity to the team. It is clearly understood that Jose Mourinho prefers a strong center back pairing, so it is obvious that Daley Blind will no longer be the center back for United. Smalling is one of the best defenders in England and fitting Bailly alongside him might work for the Portuguese gaffer.

Manchester United does need a center back since Marcos Rojo can no longer be trusted in the position and it’s better not to talk about Phil Jones as he enjoys most of his time out on the sidelines. Bailly has a pretty good experience of playing in Europe that could help United a lot. He is tough in defending, but sometimes loses his concentration and that troubles the team quite often. Well, his disciplinary aspect will surely be sorted out under Mourinho and the Ivorian could form a great partnership with Smalling at the Theatre of Dreams.

All in all, it is safe to say that Eric Bailly will be a great fit at Manchester United and could easily get the first team action if he continues his brilliant form.