Why is Bailly so popular in the dressing room?

Wednesday 06 January 2021 13:00

When Eric Bailly plunged to the deck to make a dramatic block from Keinan Davis in the closing stages of the win over Aston Villa, it prompted several of his colleagues to embrace him when the final whistle sounded soon afterwards.

A cursory glance at his team-mates' social-media accounts would also reveal the high esteem in which the Ivory Coast international is held.

Bruno Fernandes declared his pal Man of the Match for the win against Wolves recently and everybody seems delighted with the way the defender is playing after recovering from injury.

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As we caught up with Eric for one of his lengthiest interviews in English, the French-speaking centre-back soon displayed the qualities that adhere him to others. He was very humble and quick to deflect any praise or attention on his own performances, instead highlighting the importance of the team in a piece for Saturday's United Review, the official matchday programme for the visit of Watford in the Emirates FA Cup.

So, while it is easy to see why he is so popular in the dressing room, we decided to put the question to his manager as well, ahead of Wednesday's Carabao Cup semi-final with Manchester City at Old Trafford.

"Eric speaks many languages so he’s one that connects people," revealed the boss in his pre-match chat with MUTV's Stewart Gardner. "We know Eric has had a tough few seasons with injuries, and tough spells, but he always gives 100 per cent.

“He gives everything for his team-mates. He’s one of those that you want in your team, you want in your side if there’s a battle going on. He’s just a very likeable person.

United Briefing: Bailly's message of unity


Eric Bailly says United's players are like a family as he appreciated the response to his Aston Villa heroics.

"You see the harmony and unity in the group. I believe this is going to be important this season, with the fixture congestion and the schedule, that players know they have the chance and possibility to contribute - and they will contribute throughout the season.

“Eric has played the last four now and he's been absolutely top.”

Bailly last made four successive starts in September 2017 but he will be hoping for number five in the derby clash against the Blues this evening [Wednesday].