Manchester United defender Eric Bailly
Thursday Mar 09, 2017. 17:00
Ivory Coast international Eric Bailly and Phil Jones should be Manchester United’s first choice centre-back pairing, according to David May.
May, who played for United from 1994 to 2003, reckons that Bailly is “very athletic and quick and reads the game well” and would like to see him partner Jones in the middle of defence after the latter’s strong comeback from injury.
“The last eighteen games Jones played for United before he got injured was the best he'd played since he's been at the club,” May told 888Sport.
“He was reading the game ever so well, his passing was improved and he'd uncomplicated his game, meaning he didn't go in for rash challenges anymore.
“He just needs to get back to that consistency because the place is there for the taking. I often think he and Bailly could be United's one and two. Others say Smalling but they would be my two.
“Bailly has only played around 75 games competitively so to get to where he is it's quite incredible really.
“He is very athletic and quick and reads the game well. But he needs a partner.
“Bruce and Pally [Steve Bruce and Gary Pallister] played for years and years together and understood each other ever so well.
“Same with Rio [Fernando] and [Nemanja] Vidic or myself and Ronny [Johnsen]. You get an understanding of where your mate will be and bounce off each other."
Bailly will not feature for United in tonight’s UEFA Europa League clash at FC Rostov, as he will be serving a suspension for being sent off in the second leg against Saint-Etienne in the previous round.