Eric Bailly’s early days at Manchester United have drawn plaudits from across English football and in the Old Trafford stands – his popularity confirmed when he scooped the club’s August Player of the Month award.
The comparisons between his style and an old Stretford favourite in Nemanja Vidic are perhaps the most complimentary, but it’s the retired Serb who seems most touched by their apparent likeness.
“It’s nice to hear (comparisons) and, from what I’ve seen, he is a very good player,” said Vidic in an interview published in Saturday’s matchday programme.
Bailly joined in the summer for around £30 million from Villarreal. Despite the lofty transfer fee, he entered the Premier League as a relative unknown, until recent performances have lodged him immediately into the debate as United’s finest centre-half, and one that can be an assured performer in the side’s backline for years to come.
“If he keeps going as he is, he will definitely have a great career at United,” Vidic continued. “Of course, I’m glad that someone compares him to me and I hope he will be a player who does very well for us.
“He’s strong and composed with the ball. He’s a very confident player. He has a bit of everything.”
He added a note of caution, however: “The most important thing for a player of his age is to keep his feet on the ground. The first few matches he really performed well and had so many compliments from everyone, but it’s important to stay calm, keep doing what he was doing before and keep improving.”
United tore through Leicester City to win 4-1 on Saturday, and takes on Ukraine’s Zorya Luhansk on Thursday in the Europa League.