Rio Ferdinand: Why I feel sorry for Eric Bailly at Man United

The Manchester United star believes Eric Bailly must have been disillusioned to see Scott McTominay start ahead of the Ivorian at West Ham last weekend

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Man United star Eric Bailly Photo: The Sport Review

Rio Ferdinand has admitted that he feels sorry for Eric Bailly at Manchester United under Jose Mourinho.

The Ivory Coast international was one of Manchester United’s best performer in their goalless draw with La Liga side Valencia in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

Bailly did a good job keeping on-loan Chelsea FC striker Michy Batshuayi and former Bolton Wanderers forward Rodrigo quiet during the group stage clash at Old Trafford.

The African defender has started four of Manchester United’s eight games in all competitions this season to come back in favour under controversial manager Mourinho.

Bailly was heavily criticised for his performance in Manchester United’s 3-2 loss to Brighton and Hove Albion in August when the Red Devils lost their first league game of the season.

The 25-year-old hasn’t started a Premier League game since their loss at the Amex Stadium on 19 August, although the Ivorian was named in Mourinho’s XI for their loss to Derby County in the League Cup.

Former Manchester United defender Ferdinand has sympathy for the Ivory Coast international following a mixed start to his career at Old Trafford.

“Can you imagine being Bailly in this team?” Ferdinand told BT Sport.

“Can you imagine being him that Scott McTominay, a young player, inexperienced, midfielder, plays centre-half? ‘I’m an international defender on the bench’.”

BIOGRAPHY: Learn more about Manchester United defender Eric Bailly

Manchester United signed Bailly in a £30m deal from Spanish side Villarreal in the 2016 summer transfer window following Mourinho’s appointment as manager.

Bailly impressed as the centre-half helped Villarreal to reach the Europa League semi-finals before a 2-1 loss to Liverpool FC in the last four in April 2016.

The African star was a big hit in his opening months at Old Trafford before Bailly suffered a serious knee injury in a 4-0 loss to eventual champions Chelsea FC at Stamford Bridge in October 2016.

Can you imagine being him [Eric Bailly] that Scott McTominay, a young player, inexperienced, midfielder, plays centre-half?

Rio Ferdinand

The Manchester United star was part of the Mourinho’s side that won 3-2 against Southampton in the League Cup final at Wembley in February 2017.

Bailly missed out on a place in the Manchester United team in the Europa League final after the Ivory Coast international was sent off against Celta Vigo in the semi-final.

However, Mourinho used Bailly sparingly in the 2017-18 season and the number three struggled to get into the Manchester United team as the Portuguese head coach preffered his World Cup stars.

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