Eric Bailly is one of the best defenders in the Premier League – and has only been here for a season.
He’s in the mould Jose Mourinho loves – quick, powerful and someone who will risk anything to get to the ball, and after a brilliant opening game against West Ham United, he made it very obvious that when you look at United’s spine, he is someone who will be featuring week in, week out.
Bailly was speaking to the Guardian, and spoke about his life before football – and also his heroes in the game.
He spoke about his childhood and said: “My life was normal.
“I am not going to complain about the life I’ve had so far. In Africa, there are people that live in more difficult situations. I’ve had the luck of having parents who work and have helped me out, they’ve done everything possible for me to get here.
“My dream was like all the other kids to get to the best possible [level] – which means professional football. I have made that dream come true thanks to God.”
When asked about other defenders, he brought up Sergio Ramos and John Terry – and was fully of praise.
He also mentioned another key Mourinho player – Didier Drogba, and noted that he initially tried to be a forward.
“Those are players that have passed various phases.
They are big players which you have to have a lot of respect for. You always have to have an example like them to try to be like.
“I was following Marseille and looking up to my compatriot playing there, Didier Drogba, and my team was Marseille.
“I would try to be a striker even though I wasn’t and once I started growing up and seeing professional football was a step closer I would look at Sergio Ramos. I always looked up to Ramos as an example and watched him a lot.”