Photos: Eric Bailly in Manchester United training for Hull City

by Leo Nieboer

Eric Bailly was pictured working hard in preparation for Manchester United’s game with Hull City on Saturday.

The defender has made a seamless transition from La Liga to a notoriously more physical Premier League, cementing himself at the heart of defence through a series of assured performances.

Even amid the hysteria generated by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba, Bailly’s impressive start has not gone unnoticed: Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith has tipped the Ivorian to be a Man United great, whilst Jose Mourinho admitted he was surprised at how well Bailly has settled in.

The 22-year-old has seen at Carrington earlier today as he prepares for what should be a fourth consecutive start under Mourinho.

Bailly’s sensational start at United continued against Southampton in emphatic fashion. His mixture of speed and aggression meant that Dusan Tadic – who netted the winner at Old Trafford two years ago – and Nathan Redmond didn’t find their way in behind the back four once. It was another robust, regimented display and his partnership with Daley Blind looks to be blossoming.

With Bailly at the base of United’s spine, any hint of flimsiness from the past few years has gone. United’s visit to the KC Stadium will be a test, however, with Mike Phelan’s side on something of an unexpected high.

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