Man Utd outcast’s claim of deep-rooted issue which ‘doesn’t happen at Chelsea’ receives brutal pundit response

·3-min read
Eric Bailly, Nice v Marseille August 2022 Credit: PA Images
Eric Bailly, Nice v Marseille August 2022 Credit: PA Images

Jamie Carragher has branded claims from Eric Bailly that Manchester United favour English players as “absolute nonsense”.

The Ivory Coast star left Old Trafford this summer for Marseille following a mixed six-year career in Manchester. Injuries did not help his cause and, overall, he struggled to make a consistent impact.

While Bailly made 113 Man Utd appearances, he could have enjoyed a lot more game time had he enjoyed more fortune.

After his 2016 arrival under Jose Mourinho, the manager then signed Victor Lindelof in 2017. Furthermore, Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez have all since come into the United defence.

Bailly subsequently left for France after Martinez’s arrival. And he has claimed that Erik ten Hag is the only recent United manager to expose a deep-rooted issue of the club favouring English players.

“The club should avoid favouring English players and give everyone a chance,” Bailly told The Times. “[They should] encourage competition in the dressing room, not just look out for some.

“I’ve always had the feeling that the national player was prioritised.”

Bailly added that the issue “doesn’t happen at Chelsea”. He said that United players taking their starting places “for granted” only “weakens the team”.

The defender then praised Ten Hag’s “character” for removing what he sees as a problem.

Jamie Carragher takes Bailly to task

Reacting on Twitter to Bailly’s claims, former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher turned the comments back round on the centre-back.

“Absolute nonsense, Eric Bailly has been injured consistently and poor when he has played,” the pundit wrote. “That’s why they keep buying players to replace him!

“Harry Maguire is a better player.”

Bailly has played in two of Marseille’s three Ligue 1 matches this season, with the French club winning all three.

He was speaking ahead of his return to England on Wednesday, when Marseille play Tottenham in the Champions League.

Man Utd man looking to resurrect career

Bailly’s comments are a slight on United’s selection process in recent years under Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.

The fact is, though, the significant investment at centre-back is a sign of struggles to find a solid partnership.

Bailly, Lindelof and Varane have all had spells in and out of the team without showing concrete signs of forming a strong partnership.

And now Maguire is in trouble because Martinez has replaced him in the starting line-up.

As for Bailly himself, he will be looking to prove his former managers wrong over his ability and injury record.

He has already made a solid start in Ligue 1 with two clean sheets, but doing the same in the Champions League would get more eyes back looking at his career again.

Marseille, who finished second in Ligue 1 last season, may even fancy their chances of getting out of the group ahead of Sporting and Eintracht Frankfurt.

If Bailly can play well in all six games of the group stage and help his side qualify for the knockout stages, he would then attract even more attention.

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