Former Manchester United captain and club legend Nemanja Vidic believes that Eric Bailly will become the next great centre-back for the club. 


Speaking to ​​ESPN FC, the 35-year-old Serb discussed how Bailly has all the gifts and potential to make a great defender.


"Eric Bailly started really well with a steady two or three months. Then he was unlucky with injury and the African Cup of Nations. He's aggressive. He has potential, he's young, and he likes to defend. He has the qualities to go even further."

"But I still think that Phil Jones and/or Chris Smalling could build a partnership with Bailly," adds Vidic. "Smalling has the mentality to defend, the physical size to do it. He likes to defend."


One of Sir Alex Ferguson's favourite sons, Vidic was a club captain for many years. In his time in the North West, he won 15 trophies including 5 Premier League titles and a Champions League crown. In this interview, he also discussed how great defences are built on great relationships and communication.

"Communication is very important in defence, and it doesn't help when there has been a lot of changes in United's defence, like this season. It's important for central defenders to build partnerships. If you change too much, then it's difficult to understand each other.


"I was lucky to play for many years with Rio [Ferdinand]. Even though we were very different as players and personalities, I knew what he was going to do in any moment and he knew what I could do. That is absolutely vital for central defenders, but you also need a goalkeeper to communicate with you. David [de Gea] is brilliant and he's doing really well. He can also tell the defenders to speak more, to be more active in the game."

Finally, Vidic went on to discuss others in the United back line including Marcos Rojo and Antonio Valencia.


"Rojo is a player who has done well at full-back for Argentina. Is he good enough to play central defence? Look, of course he's a good player; he plays for Man United most games. Can he play better? Of course. But if you're asking me which one central defender I most like to watch, then it's Bailly."


On Valencia: “I loved playing with him and against him because he’s an honest player. It’s difficult to beat him one-on-one. He’s strong, he’s powerful, he has everything. I like to see him at right-back because he can still go forward and cross the ball, but he doesn’t have that obligation to be creative too much up front. It’s a good position for him.”

FBL-ENG-PR-SOUTHAMPTON-MAN UTD


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