Eric Bailly accuses Manchester United of favouring English players, as he sent clear message to Erik Ten Hag.
Eric Bailly, a defender for Manchester United, claimed in an unprecedented interview that the team “favors” English players.
The 28-year-old international from the Ivory Coast, who just signed a season-long loan deal with Ligue 1 club Marseille, has battled to secure a berth in the first squad at Old Trafford since his arrival in 2017.
Although Bailly had a strong debut season for the Reds, winning the Europa League, EFL Cup, and Community Shield, he has only appeared in 113 games overall over the course of six seasons.
Fair enough, Bailly hasn’t had much luck with injuries. However, the seasoned center-back will be looking forward to getting some much-needed playing time with French club Marseille.
In fact, Les Phoceens, who gave him a fantastic welcome on his debut, have already recorded two clean sheets in his first two outings.
In an interview with The Times two weeks after the agreement was revealed, Bailly was frank about his time at Manchester United.
Before sharing details of a conversation he had with new manager Erik ten Hag, he stated that he believed English players were “prioritized.”
The club should give everyone an opportunity instead of favoring English players, he argued.
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“Instead of just keeping an eye out for some, the club ought to promote competitiveness in the locker room. I’ve always felt that the national player was given preference.
“At Chelsea or other significant Premier League clubs, that doesn’t occur. Some squad members assume they will start, which makes them a liability. I’m hoping that [Erik] Ten Hag can alter the dynamic since he has a lot of character.
“At the conclusion of the previous season, when Erik Ten Hag went to sign his contract, we first spoke in the locker room.
“He told me he wanted me to stay because he was going to give everyone minutes while I was packing my stuff with the intention of leaving.
“I gave United my word that I would join him for the summer tour, and he kept it, but I don’t want to play occasionally. I want to perform it each week to feel significant. I want to regain my self-assurance.”
In April, Bailly’s remark to a supporter who requested that new manager Erik ten Hag give him more playing time went viral.
A fan requested in an Instagram post that the Ivorian start opposite Raphael Varane during the 2022–23 season received the following response: “Please,” coupled with a laughing and praying emoji.
What do you think of Bailly’s recent remarks? Do you concur with his assertions?