Manchester United fans were in awe of Eric Bailly’s sensational performance in their side’s 2-1 Community Shield win over Leicester City.
The Ivorian, who joined the club earlier this summer for £30m, was an indomitable, passionate force at the back, expertly leading the line in Chris Smalling‘s absence.
Man United fans were quick to heap praise on the 22-year-old.
An OK half! Unreal goal from Jesse and fantastic half for Eric Bailly. Expecting a few subs now! #MatchdayGaz
— Stretford Paddock (@StretfordPaddck) August 7, 2016
Think Bailly was amazing this half. Looks so comfortable on the ballot and is good in the air as well.
— The United Link 🏆 (@TheUnitedLink) August 7, 2016
Much like Stam's debut the commentators seem desperate for a Bailly horror show. Doing excellently so far
— James (@writtenoff_mufc) August 7, 2016
I like Bailly. His pace and athleticism makes a nice change from last season's musical statues.
— Rich (@RichRedVoices) August 7, 2016
Bailly is the type of player who would run through anything: glass, brick walls, maximum security prisons, the gates of Hell – you name it. As far as a good welcome offer goes, Bailly has immediately built a strong rapport among fans.
After a strong pre-season, Bailly truly announced himself to the world against the Premier League champions at Wembley. Very rarely do you come across a genuinely old-school, bludgeoning defender in the modern game; but in Bailly, United have just that.
Whilst Daley Blind provided composure on the ball, the former Villarreal defender offered brute force. In a highly charged atmosphere, Bailly was flying everywhere with tackles, headers, clearances, interceptions and occasionally some pretty ruthless lunges. At 22, Bailly is still something of a rough diamond, and that became clear through a series of rash challenges, leading to a booking for the Ivorian.
And while the Ivorian will need to avoid an accumulation of cards again, that pure aggression and Jaap Stam-esque verve is still something to admire in a defender. A promising season lies ahead.