Jose Mourinho’s first signing for English giants Manchester United is a 22-year old Ivorian international. Central defender, Eric Bertrand Bailly, is the first Ivorian to ever play for the Old Trafford outfit.
The former Villareal CF player’s transfer on a four-year deal, with option of two-year extension, is subject to successfully obtaining a work permit.
According to the club’s official website, Bailly said: “It is a dream come true to be joining Manchester United. To play football at the highest level is all I have ever wanted to do.
It is a dream come true to be joining Manchester United. To play football at the highest level is all I have ever wanted to do.
“I want to progress to be the best that I can be and I believe working with Jose Mourinho will help me develop in the right way and at the right club. I am looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and to starting this new chapter of my life.”
Whiles his new manager also lauded his qualities, saying that his first signing for the club was talented and would reach his potential during his time with United.
“Eric is a young central defender with great natural talent. He has progressed well to date and has the potential to become one of the best around.
“We look forward to working with him to help nurture that raw talent and fulfil his potential. Eric is at the right club to continue his development.”
About Eric Bailly
The player who has made 47 appearances for Villareal since he joined the ‘yellow submarines’ in January 2015 has also made 15 appearances for the national side, the Elephants.
He was part of the AFCON winning side led by Manchester City’s Yaya Toure having featured in all six matches enroute to the final where they beat Ghana on penalties.
The club posted the following five facts about their new signing
- Bailly was born in Bingerville, Ivory Coast, same place as Manchester City’s Wilfired Bony
- He joined Spanish side Espanyol in 2011 with the name Eric Bertrand, before adding his mother’s surname, Bailly.
- He joined Villareal as a direct replacement for Arsenal central defender, Gabriel Paulista
- He won the 2015 AFCON playing in all six matches and scoring a penalty in the final
- He is 6 feet, 1 inch, known for his imposing style of play and also able to switch to right back from his preferred center-back position.