Former Manchester United Ivorian centre-back Eric Bailly has accused the club of English player bias and racism in team selection, as reported by The Telegraph.
Eric Bailly Accuses Manchester United of English Player Bias
Eric Bailly 🗣️ “Manchester United should avoid favouring English players and give everyone a chance. That doesn’t happen at Chelsea or other big Premier League clubs. Some people take it for granted that they are going to start, and that weakens the team” https://t.co/1G0l65FEmY
— Times Sport (@TimesSport) September 6, 2022
Ivorian Defender Speaks Out on Parent Club
The Ivory Coast defender has made 113 appearances for Manchester United but is currently on loan at Olympique Marseille after failing to pin down a place in the team over the years at Old Trafford.
Bailly made just seven appearances for United in all competitions last season and has been allowed to join Marseille on loan for the remainder of this campaign after he informed the club in the summer that he wanted to leave the team.
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Harry Maguire, meanwhile, struggled to find his form last term and following an abysmal start to the new season, United’s £80 million signing has been benched by Erik ten Hag for their last four Premier League games, including the 3-1 victory over Arsenal on Sunday.
The Ivorian was forced to make a desperate plea to the then United manager, Ralf Ragnick, to start a Premier League game against Arsenal after captain Maguire was on a poor run of form but still managed to keep his place in the team. The United defence was in total shambles in a calamitous 4-0 loss to Liverpool in April last season, with Maguire being a major culprit.
English Player Bias at Manchester United
The defender has now taken a public swipe at Manchester United for alleged favouritism and English player bias in team selection.
He told reporters in a news conference ahead of Marseille’s Champions League opening fixture against Tottenham Hotspur: “The club should avoid favouring English players and give everyone in the team a chance.
“The club 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.
“That doesn’t happen at Chelsea or other big Premier League clubs. Some people take it for granted that they are going to start, and that weakens the team. Luckily Erik ten Hag has a lot of character and I hope he can change that dynamic.”
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Bailly’s Time at Manchester United
Eric Bailly was one of the first signing of Jose Mourinho during the Portuguese manager’s time in the United dugout. The 28-year-old moved to Old Trafford from Villarreal in 2016 and had a decent debut season for the club.
Nevertheless, recurrent injuries marred his career at United in the later seasons. The Ivorian defender has now moved to France in a desperate bid to rejuvenate his career and put his injury woes behind him.
Following the signing of the Argentine defender, Lisandro Martinez, along with Raphael Varane’s return to full fitness, the Ivorian fell further down the team’s pecking order and after an uneventful six-year spell at the club. He ultimately decided to leave during the summer transfer window.