Eric Bailly’s new contract has split opinion among Manchester United fans.

Bailly’s talent is not in doubt, but his fitness is. This is a player who has played just 100 games in five seasons.

The one thing everybody seems to agree on regarding Bailly, is what a great character he is.

The centre-back is frequently referred to by United players in Q&As as the squad’s funniest player, and his extension will be a popular one behind the scenes.

Teammates past and present were quick to congratulate Bailly on his extension.

These included current teammates Amad and Luke Shaw, and former teammates Antonio Valencia and Odion Ighalo.

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(Photo by CARL RECINE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Behind the scenes influence

When Bailly was mobbed by teammates after his last minute block against Aston Villa in a win back in January, it highlighted what a popular player he is in the squad.

 

This will have been a factor, although not a decisive one, in weighing up the pros and cons to offering Bailly a new United deal.

The defender is now under contract until 2024, with an option to extend until 2025.

Bailly told the club website: “The new contract shows the group has confidence in me – the coach, the staff and the players and, for me, that is very important, and that’s why I made this decision to stay at the club.

Now it is up to Bailly to repay United. He needs a bit of luck from a fitness perspective. Performance-wise, he rarely gives United any reason to doubt him.

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