Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has explained why Eric Bailly is a popular and important member of the Manchester United dressing room following the defender’s return to prominence.
Bailly has endured a nightmare run with injuries since enjoying a promising debut season after signing from Villarreal in 2016, making just 20 league starts over the course of the past three seasons.
The Ivorian international has recently returned to the fold and has started each of the club’s past four fixtures, impressing alongside Harry Maguire and producing another commanding display in the 2-1 victory over Aston Villa last weekend.
Bailly made a superb stoppage-time block to deny the visitors an equaliser at Old Trafford and was surrounded by his teammates following the full-time whistle, with Solskjaer explaining the centre-back’s popular status within the dressing room.
“Eric speaks many languages so he’s one that connects people,” Solskjaer told ManUtd.com. “We know Eric has had a tough few seasons with injuries, and tough spells, but he always gives 100 per cent. He gives everything for his team-mates.
“He’s one of those that you want in your team, you want in your side if there’s a battle going on. He’s just a very likeable person. You see the harmony and unity in the group.
“I believe this is going to be important this season, with the fixture congestion and the schedule, that players know they have the chance and possibility to contribute – and they will contribute throughout the season.
“Eric has played the last four now and he’s been absolutely top.”