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Dublin: 10°C Friday 16 April 2021

'He's a player we needed': Nemanja Vidic tips Eric Bailly to become Man United legend

Takes one to know one.

Comparisons are already being made between Vidic and Bailly.
Comparisons are already being made between Vidic and Bailly.
Image: Martin Rickett

FORMER MAN UNITED captain Nemanja Vidic has hailed the impact of new signing Eric Bailly while admitting he’s flattered by the comparisons being made between the two defenders.

The Ivory Coast international was one of four big-money arrivals at Old Trafford during the summer and has gone on to hit the ground running in the Premier League, impressing in all six league games of the campaign.

Vidic, the now-retired Serbian defender who left Man United in 2014, says the 22-year-old has all the attributes to follow in his footsteps.

“He is a very good player. If he keeps going as he is, he will definitely have a great career at United,” Vidic told the club’s ‘United Review’ magazine.

“He’s strong and composed with the ball. He’s a very confident player. He has a bit of everything. What I have seen in the first few matches is that we have a great player for the future and a player I would say we needed.

“He reads the game well. He already looks a big signing for us. Of the signings we’ve had this year, I think he’s the one that has surprised everyone the most.”

The £30 million signing from Villarreal has already established himself in Jose Mourinho’s side and even at this early stage, comparisons are being made between his style and that of Vidic’s.

Watford v Manchester United - Premier League - Vicarage Road Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

“I think he’s already popular with the fans,” Vidic added. “He’s 22 years old and he went straight into the club and looks at home straight away. That’s outstanding for me. We know how many players come to England and need time to adapt and that, for me, is what is so impressive – he’s 22 and he has adapted straight away and showed some confidence which is important.”

“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.

“If he continues to play like he does and stays focused, he can be here for many years and help the team be successful.”

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Ryan Bailey

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