Before OM – Clermont: Eric Bailly, the defender who should “do an excellent service to OM”

Before OM – Clermont: Eric Bailly, the defender who should “do an excellent service to OM”

Before OM – Clermont: Eric Bailly, the defender who should “do an excellent service to OM”

Eric Bailly had no longer played a match in a domestic competition since December 30, during a match won at Old Trafford by the Red Devils against Burnley (3-1) in the Premier League. That day, Ralf Rangnick started the Ivorian, before replacing him in the 65th minute. But Bailly probably had no idea that he had just played his last official match for his club.

Between this date and his appearance on the Allianz Riviera lawn, where he replaced Bosnian Sead Kolasinac in the 58th place, while OM was 3-0 ahead, the former Villarreal had contented himself with five games with his selection – three during CAN in Cameroon, and two more friendlies in France (1-2) and England (0-3) last March – and 144 minutes granted by Erik ten Hag, the new Mancunian coach, during the summer preparation.

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Marseille was a risk

Last season, Bailly made seven appearances for Manchester United in all competitions and there were no signs that Ten Hag’s arrival would change his status as a luxury replacement. I think it was important for him to leave to have more time to play, he couldn’t stay in this situation, playing so little. For several years he played little, and this obviously slowed down his progress. So yes, going to Marseille, where you have to hurry, is a risk, and if the OM has decided to bring a player who hasn’t played for months it is because the Olympic decision makers have certainties about him.“, explains Patrice Beaumelle, the former coach of the Ivory Coast (April 2020-April 2022), who has always maintained faith in the national team.

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Beaumelle, then assistant to Hervé Renard in the Ivory Coast, discovered Bailly in 2014 during a La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Espanyol, the Ivorian defender’s first European club (44 appearances, 2 goals). “When I took the lead of the Elephants, I never hesitated to call him, even though he didn’t play much for a club. Because he is someone you can count on“.

In Manchester, Igor Tudor’s 11th summer recruit was injured at times, but his recurring presence on the sidelines or in the stands was mostly recorded in the name of fierce competition in the Red Devils’ defensive sector. “During his first season at United (2016-2017), José Mourinho, who arrived with him, played him a lot (38 games in all competitions, ed). Then his playing time decreased in the following seasons (19, 17, 11, 27 and 7 games, ed). I asked him why he didn’t leave the club, but he replied that the Mancunian executives wanted to keep him.“, Continues Beaumelle.

He was patient. In Manchester he was not allowed enough to show his qualities as he rarely chained matches. I think he made an excellent choice by going to Marseille, a place where he is sought after, and where he should be of great service, because he is a player used to high levels, used to pressure, both in selection and at Manchester United.“, Max-Alain Gradel intervenes, the forward of Sivasspor (Turkey) and who has seen Bailly at the Elephants for more than seven years.

He will render services to OM

Former Saint-Etienne and Toulouse striker, who presents his younger brother as a man “calm, discreet, good teammate, easy to manage, competitive and above all very hardworking”he hopes Igor Tudor, the demanding Olympian coach, will be able to give Bailly time to adapt. “We have to give him the time he needs to get to know his teammates, learn to play with them, acclimatize to the way his manager works. He has reached the end of the transfer window, after having done all his preparation with Manchester. Physically” I think that he is fine. Mentally he wants to show that Marseille did well to trust him. But knowing him I can assure you that he will be there if he is asked to start the games. ”

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Igor Tudor makes his team play at 3-4-3 and it works, as shown by OM’s good start to the season (2nd with 10 points). No problem for Bailly. “He is used to playing with this system. He did it in Manchester and I have already developed the Ivory Coast with three defenders. He is comfortable in this configuration, or in back four.”, continues Patrice Beaumelle. Right-footed Bailly is played by his former manager as a defender “skilled in recovery, fast, at ease in duels and physical challenge, and the higher the level of the matches, the better he behaves. terms of concentration, it’s because she played little, yes, I think she accepted too much of her role as a luxury substitute at United, but no, the gear wasn’t too high when the British bought her from Villarreal (38 million euros, ed.). “

From Sivas in central Anatolia, Max-Alain Gradel has vowed to closely monitor his compatriot’s performance, whose playing time is expected to increase significantly during his time in Marseille. “With the league and the Champions League, Eric will have the opportunity to prove that he is an excellent defender and that he has the level to evolve at Manchester United …”

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