Filters List


Eric Bailly joined Manchester United from Villarreal in the summer of 2016 and quickly made a name for himself at Old Trafford.

Bailly's quality as an aspiring footballer was spotted by Spanish outfit Espanyol during a youth tournament held in Burkina Faso. He was signed by the Catalan club in December 2011 and joined their youth system at 17, but it was 10 months before he received a work permit enabling him to play.

Once his papers arrived, he became a regular in the Espanyol B team, playing under the name of Eric Bertrand, until deciding to use his mother’s surname, Bailly, instead. He went on to become a regular in Espanyol’s first team before his powerful displays in the heart of defence earned him a move to Villarreal in January 2015.

The 6ft 1in defender’s first big move came during the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, in which he netted his spot-kick in the final penalty shoot-out as Ivory Coast beat Ghana to claim their second title.

After a slow start at Villarreal, he made himself a mainstay in the club’s defence the following season. His tough tackling and no-nonsense approach helped the Yellow Submarine finish fourth in La Liga and reach the Europa League semi-finals.

Bailly secured a move to Old Trafford ahead of the 2016/17 campaign and his versatility proved crucial, as he made 38 appearances across all competitions and featured at both centre-back and right-back.

Although he missed the Europa League final through suspension, he did play the full 90 minutes at Wembley as United overcame Southampton to win the League Cup.

Bailly’s trademark tough tackling has made him a fan favourite in Manchester, but his impressive ball-playing ability and anticipation skills have taken his game to the next level.

Injury meant the defender had a very stop-start campaign in 2017/18, but when available Bailly was as dependable as ever and even managed to notch his first United goal in a 4-0 win at Swansea.

Although he continued to impress when on the pitch, a combination of injuries, a suspension following his red card against Bournemouth in December, and the form of Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof restricted Bailly to 18 appearances in all competitions in 2018/19.

Unfortunately, a knee injury sustained against Chelsea at the end of April brought a premature end to his campaign and also ruled him out of the Africa Cup of Nations with his country.

After returning to action in pre-season, Eric suffered a further blow when he injured his knee again during the International Champions Cup win over Tottenham in July 2019. He underwent an operation and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed he would be out for four to five months.

Read Less About Eric Bailly
  • Position


  • Country

    Ivory Coast

  • Date of birth

  • Joined

  • United debut

    v Leicester City (N)

To play football at the highest level is all I have ever wanted to do.


Eric Bailly at the Aon Training Complex.

Bailly promised plenty of action Article

Find out what the manager has to say about our Ivory Coast international defender.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Ole reveals team news for West Ham game Article

The boss discusses the latest on the injury front ahead of our final home match of the Premier League season.

Bailly posts an update on his head injury Article

Read what Eric has told supporters via social media, following his aerial collision at Wembley on Sunday.

Anthony Martial.

Early team news for United v West Ham Article

Ole could be without four defenders, but other Reds will hopefully emerge unscathed from a bruising game at Wembley.

Eric Bailly receives treatment from Dr Steve McNally

Ole's update on Bailly injury Article

The manager discussed Eric's condition, after the United defender suffered a head wound at Wembley.

Split-Screen Action: Bailly tackles video

It’s four years since Eric Bailly signed for United, but which was his best tackle in the win over Chelsea?

Watch Bailly's daily workout video

Our much-loved defender Eric is attacking lockdown training just like a Premier League match...

UTD Unscripted: My road to recovery Article

Set aside some time as Eric Bailly talks about his long path back to first-team football following a bad injury.

Eric Bailly.

Bailly exclusive: I'm making up for lost time Article

Eric's season only began in late February and, now, his sights are set on a strong finish to the campaign.

Eric Bailly with the Europa League trophy

Bailly yearns for more Europa League success Article

In Thursday's match programme, Eric recalls the camaraderie that propelled the Reds to glory in Stockholm in 2017.

Eric Bailly makes a challenge at Stamford Bridge.

Opinion: Put some respect on Bailly's name Article

Eric had not played a competitive match in 295 days, yet managed to shine in Monday's big win over Chelsea.

Eric's amazing stepover in his return match video

Bailly clearly enjoyed himself at Stamford Bridge in his first match for almost 10 months...

You have to see this Bailly stepover video

As you can see here, Bailly was clearly enjoying himself at Stamford Bridge...

Bailly is back with a bang! video

Eric marked his first appearance of the season with this awesome sliding tackle...

Quinton Fortune

United's African players Article

Odion Ighalo is the seventh Red from Africa. Can you remember the previous six?

View More