Manchester United was in for almost all centre-backs in world football in the summer transfer window. They couldn’t get anyone in, though. But, the Red Devils need not worry as they already have two very capable defenders who can lead United to many titles. Those two are Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof.
Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly Will Be To Manchester United Success
Jose Mourinho wanted another centre back to switch to a back three. United looked sharp and better in the 3-5-2. Mourinho already possessed Lindelof and Bailly but needed a commanding figure at the back to be the third centre back. Neither Smalling, Jones, Marcos Rojo are good enough to play there. Axel Tuanzebe and Timothy-Fosu Mensah have the skillset to play there but need more experience which they will get whilst on loan. Thus, its back to a back four with two central defenders.
Let’s start off with the crazy Eric Bailly. The Ivorian is probably the only man alive who had the audacity and the daring to kick Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He’s up for a kick, anytime. The 24-year-old is a pure defender and an absolute rock to pass through. He is quick, strong and isn’t afraid to put his body on the line making absolutely clutch tackles. Remember someone, United fans? Bailly is the perfect successor to the murderer from Serbia, Nemanja Vidic.
Unlike Vidic, Bailly immediately hit the ground running at Old Trafford, soon becoming a fan favourite. He is aggressive, spots out the danger quickly is aware of his surroundings and has the confidence to play out from the back.
Victor Lindelof is known as the ‘Iceman’ because of his composure. He just doesn’t fade under pressure. He has the ability to bring the ball out from the back. Lindelof can thread passes in between the lines or play perfectly weighted long balls. The Swede had a rough start and struggled in the Premier League at first but has adapted really well to the pace and physicality of the English game, putting in solid performances in the latter parts of the season.
Lindelof had an excellent World Cup while Bailly had a great pre-season tour as well. Neither is a finished article though. Both still have a long way to go before becoming world class. Bailly needs to stay fit and not have lapses in concentration. He communicates among the back line and is also very alert.
The two centre-backs Jose Mourinho signed, started for the first time in the Premier League together against Leicester City on 10th August. Lindelof and Bailly looked great, apart from that silly Vardy goal. The two are made for each other. Their traits are similar to Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane or Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand. Bailly is the aggressor while Lindelof does the cleanup work calming things down.
The duo spent the whole of last season together but just couldn’t form a partnership. It is obvious that the two are among the most talented young defenders in the world. Mourinho must play them consistently as a pairing throughout the season. The duo needs game time to develop an understanding between themselves and the other parts of the defence, so as to avoid errors like gifting strikers goal like they did to Jamie Vardy on Friday night.
Jose Mourinho seldom goes wrong with defenders and these two are just a proof.