Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has backed Ivory Coast defender Eric Bailly to succeed at the club, saying he has all the attributes necessary to bolster the team’s backline.
The Elephants player was United’s first signing in the Mourinho era, having impressed while on the books of Spanish side Villarreal last season.
“He is a player who we believe has all the attributes. He is very strong physically and very fast,” Mourinho told United’s official website.
“It’s not so easy to find a fast player when you have quite a big body; he’s a heavy guy, a tall boy who’s really fast.”
Mourinho also believes that the 22-year-old’s versatility – he can play at right-back as well as his preferred position in the middle of defence – will serve him well.
“He comes from a Spanish culture where the first phases [of play] are important so technically he’s very good,” Mourinho added.
“For some periods, he played right-back and, because playing in the right-back position demands more from an attacking point of view – it’s good for a centre-back to play some periods as a right-back.
“My only question mark at the moment is one I have to help him delete – the question mark of someone who has never played at such a big club with so many responsibilities and so many expectations.”
‘The Special One’ added that he is unsure if Bailly is ready to go straight into the United team, but sees it as his own responsibility to make sure the player can do just that.
“So is Eric ready to come here and start performing from day one? I don’t know. It is a question mark but my job is to delete that question mark as soon as possible and give him the stature, brain and personality to play for Manchester United,” Mourinho added.