Liverpool legend labels Manchester United star as rough diamond

Zlatan Ibrahimovic-Eric Bailly

Liverpool legend Jamie Redknapp has labelled Manchester United new star Eric Bailly as a “rough diamond” and has backed the defender to become a fan favourite at Old Trafford.

The Ivory Coast international became Jose Mourinho’s first signing since he was appointed as the Red Devils’ manager in May. He arrived in the Premier League from Villarreal and has started in all the matches, including the pre-season fixtures, the Community Shield and even the Premier League opener against AFC Bournemouth.

While on the pitch, Bailly has been impressive and his display in the first Premier League match of the 2016-17 season saw him bag the man of the match award as United sealed a 3-1 win at the Vitality Stadium. 

Redknapp has been closely following the centre-back since the pre-seasons and has been impressed with his playing style. He also added that his ability to move forward with the ball will help the midfielders at Old Trafford.

“I was so impressed with Bailly. He’s a rough diamond. We all make mistakes. He’s raw, he’s quick. I watched his first game against Wigan and he kept diving in and I thought he’s got a lot to work on,” Redknapp told Sky Sports.

“But he’s a midfielder’s dream because he can also play. He’ll pop the ball into midfield at times, he’s got great pace, he’s uncompromising. Man Utd fans are going to love him.

“He is a very, very good defender. He doesn’t mess around – when it’s got to go, he’ll kick it forward. He is very strong and could be money well spent.

“[He played] Alongside Daley Blind, who I also thought played very well today. Before the game, I thought they’d have problems with the front three of Bournemouth but they didn’t really. They were composed and I was very impressed with Bailly.”

Chris Smalling was suspended for the clash against Bournemouth. It should be seen whether the England international will partner Bailly in the heart of the back four for United or will he play alongside Blind in the upcoming fixtures.

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