Eric Bailly: I want to play at Manchester United for the rest of my life

by Leo Nieboer

Eric Bailly has expressed a desire to finish his career at Manchester United, noting that playing at such a great club is an honour.

The Ivorian became Jose Mourinho’s first signing at Old Trafford in June after arriving for a £30m fee following an excellent season in La Liga with Villarreal.

He made an instant impact under Mourinho, delighting supporters with a number of powerful performances at the back before being cruelly sidelined through injury in October.

And Bailly, currently on international duty at the African Cup of Nations, hopes that he can remain at Old Trafford for the entirety of his career.

“Hopefully I can play in Manchester all my life,” he said. 

“I am very happy here because it is such a great club. It is such an honour to play for this club and I hope I can continue giving my best and become a great player in this club.

“It’s difficult to claim the position of being a first-team player but I have to enjoy every minute I get at this club because it’s a wonderful club and I am very happy to be there and to be part of it.

“I am happy to be at such a big club. I never dreamed a better dream than playing for Man United. Hopefully I can enjoy every bit of it every day.”

It was thought that, out of the four signings made by Mourinho over the summer, Bailly would struggle the most: he arrived as an inexperienced player from a notably slower Spanish league, with nothing more than one strong campaign under his belt.

But the 22-year-old quickly surprised everyone, and with two months of the season gone it was clear that, out of Mourinho’s four new signings, he was struggling the least.

Injury woes and international commitments have precluded the Ivorian from imposing himself under Mourinho in more recent times, but his impact at Old Trafford this season has been nonetheless seismic.

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