Eric Bailly gave a rare interview this week in which he spoke about life at United and his style as a defender.

Speaking to Guillem Balague’s Pure Football Podcast, Bailly said he is a man of few words and the only time he will talk to opponents is if he says sorry after committing a bad foul.

Bailly praised manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and said that the United manager’s experience as a striker enables him to give a unique perspective to defenders.

Real Sociedad v Manchester United  - UEFA Europa League Round Of 32 Leg One
(Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

The United defender explained: “I always play at my maximum and he’ll say to me, Eric, you’re an aggressive player, the forwards don’t like this aggression or this and that. He’s been a forward, so he knows.

“There are many important bits of advice he gives to a centre back, a lot to take on.

“We learn from him, how to influence the forward, where to be. He gives us a lot with advice about that, when to make interceptions, the centre-backs need to be close to the forwards, especially a true striker, little details he tells us.”


A different perspective

Solskjaer’s playing career as a forward often leads to the assumption his goalscoring prowess would be a huge help to the club’s forwards. Bailly’s comments about the defence shows it works the other way too.

Bailly’s uncompromising style can occasionally backfire in the way of injury, but it sounds like Solskjaer does not want him to tone it down.

The former Villarreal defender has been excellent since returning to the side in December and he impressed last week against Real Sociedad; his latest comeback after another brief spell on the sidelines.

There is a chance he features tonight at Old Trafford in the second leg. But if he sits out, this could also be a positive, as it could mean he is being held back to face Chelsea on Sunday.

Have something to tell us about this article?