Eric Bailly has revealed Jose Mourinho’s appointment at Manchester United was the main reason behind why he came to Old Trafford.
The Ivorian was the first of four signings made by Mourinho, costing £26m as he moved from Villarreal after a blistering season in La Liga.
Man United fans have quickly warmed to the 22-year-old’s powerful, no-nonsense style at centre-back – seen most glowingly against Leicester City in the Community Shield last Sunday.
Bailly, reflecting on his time at Old Trafford so far, stated that Mourinho was the main reason behind why he came to Manchester.
“I’m fitting in with my new teammates; I’m getting a good rhythm ahead of the season ahead,” he said.
“The trainer (Mourinho) is the best in the world. It’s great to work with him, to learn with him and from him.
“He was a main reason for me joining Manchester and I hope we’ll both be here for a long time.”
Amongst the capturing Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the player of the season in Germany last year, Zlatan Ibrahimovic (no explanation needed), and Paul Pogba for a world record fee, Bailly’s arrival has dipped under the radar. And yet, in terms of building a solid core ahead of a busy campaign, the Ivorian is the most crucial of all signings.
He is not what you’d label as a ‘modern’ defender. Bailly, unlike most defenders these days, has no interest in playing between the lines or building attacks from the back. His only concern revolves around making a striker’s life hell. And with an immense physique, startling speed and a tendency to fly into tackles, the Ivorian does exactly that. Such an asset could prove to be vital as Mourinho looks to embolden his defence ahead of the 2016/17 campaign.