The signing of Eric Bailly has kickstarted Jose Mourinho’s red revolution in Manchester. He is tasked with getting them back into the Champions League after several poor seasons (by their standards).
Signing from Villarreal, the central defender is due to have his medical this week. Terms have already been agreed with the 22-year-old, who will cost the Red Devils about £30m. Then they will just wait for a work permit to be agreed.
Bailly joined Villarreal for Â£4.4m in January 2015 and played 35 games for them. Prior to that he played just 5 games for Espanyol. That’s a total for 40 La Liga games.
Former Liverpool defensive legend Mark Lawrenson has stated that Bailly has all the requirements in his repertoire to become a hit in the Premier League, adding that his price tag is fair, especially when you take into account the Â£50m valuation for John Stones of Everton.
Lawrenson said, “I think he’s got a real chance of being a top player eventually. We saw him that night at Villarreal versus Liverpool. He missed the second-leg with a hamstring injury. You talk about the fee but what’s [John] Stones going to go for? And this is a guy who has generally made a mistake every two or three games in the Premier League.â€
“The fella Bailly â€“ the great thing about him is that he’s got a great physique; he is lightning, lightning quick. So, in that position, it allows you to make a mistake but to get that mistake back. I don’t see any problems. He is very physical, and if you sign a centre-back for the Premier League he has to be physical.”
Bailly’s reputation has soared this season, which saw him play a key role as Villarreal sealed Champions League qualification, and it’s no surprise to see him make a big-money move this summer.
Bailly said: “It is a confidence boost that a manager with so much experience of English football has trusted in me by making me his first signing.
“English football has a different style to Spanish football. It’s more physical and more direct as well. I have always thought it would suit my style of football.”
He has impressive physical presence, with his powerful aerial ability complimenting his pace and strength in the tackle. However his lack of experience is evident when needlessly conceding possession in dangerous areas around the penalty area. So whilst he has all the raw talent I’m sure Jose will have to work with him for a while before he becomes automatic choice for the 1st team.