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Rio Ferdinand praises Eric Bailly’s form but names his one ‘issue’ with the Manchester United centre-back


The Ivory Coast defender has performed excellently in recent weeks (Picture: Getty Images)

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has praised Eric Bailly’s recent displays since returning to the starting XI, though fears he will breakdown with injury once again.

The 26-year-old has played 90 minutes in each of United’s last three Premier League outings, partnering Harry Maguire, and has performed excellently, earning praise from his team-mates and manager alike.

Ferdinand feels Bailly’s pace is exactly what United’s defence has been missing, though now the onus is on the Ivory Coast international to remain fit and cut out ‘silly mistakes’.

Bailly made a stunning block to deny Aston Villa late on (Picture: Getty)

Speaking on his FIVE YouTube channel, Ferdinand said: ‘A big thing that has gone under the radar is Eric Bailly.

‘He’s added a little bit of pace and steeliness to that back four.

‘My only issue with Eric Bailly has always been his fitness, he can never stay fit. He’s always injured or a game away from an injury, and that’s a problem.

‘You don’t get that consistency of performance or get to know each other.

‘I think Maguire needs pace next to him, he has other attributes but pace isn’t one of them. In the modern game, to have two centre-backs who aren’t electric quick, you’ve got a problem.

‘Bailly has good attributes, he’s quick and aggressive. If he can cut the silly mistakes out which he had previously and gets away from injuries and gets a clean bill of health, I think Manchester United are onto a good thing.’

Ferdinand feels Bailly is a better partner for Maguire than Lindelof (Picture: Getty)

United are currently level on points with Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table after enjoying an excellent run of form and Ferdinand believes they will be title contenders if they can remain consistent.

He added: ‘Whenever I spoke about Man United, the first thing I always said was we weren’t lacking quality, personalities or the right type of characters, it was simply a lack of consistency, we didn’t have it.

‘We all know Pogba, Rashford, Martial and Greenwood can be top players on their day. But were we doing it as collective on a consistent basis?

‘The only way to win titles is if you have that word in your armoury: consistency. Last ten games, what they’ve done has been fantastic. It’s title-winning form. They’ve got to continue that.’


MORE :
Gary Neville doubtful of Manchester United’s Premier League title chances


MORE : Bruno Fernandes names Eric Bailly as Man of the Match after Manchester United’s win against Wolves

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