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Bruno Soriano: Eric Bailly will be a very important player at Manchester United

by Robbie Dunne

Bruno Soriano has backed former Villarreal teammate Eric Bailly to become a very important player at Manchester United.

The pair played together at Villarreal for a year and a half and were both pivotal in helping the club qualify for the Champions League, so Soriano certainly knows more about Bailly than most.

Bailly signed a four-year deal at Man United in June and his £30million deal makes him Jose Mourinho‘s first signing at Old Trafford and speaking about the Ivorian’s potential, Soriano explained just how good he can be for Man United.

“I think he is a great player and he is a great person. He has a huge potential,” he said.

“We’ll see what he can do at Manchester United, but I think he will be an important player in the future.”

Bailly’s rise to prominence has been nothing short of meteoric following a brief spell at Espanyol, which resulted in a move to Villarreal, before then being snapped up by Mourinho as one of his first orders of business as the manager of Man United.

The 22-year-old will be expected to partner Chris Smalling at the heart of the defence so long as he settles into United’s team. With David de Gea all but confirming he will be staying at the club beyond the summer, United have a healthy, athletic, young defence when you add Luke Shaw and Matteo Darmian into the mix.

One of Mourinho’s first point of action when building a team is to organise his back four and ensure he has two physically imposing central defenders to lead from the back. While it won’t be encouraged to the maximum, being able to pass the ball won’t hurt. This is something Smalling can do and a facet of Bailly’s development that experts think can be rectified.

Given how quick Mourinho was to move for Bailly, he appears to have faith in him and if Soriano is right about his potential then we may have found a United partnership to rival Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic and Gary Pallister or Steve Bruce.

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