United have announce that they have signed Eric Bailly from Villarreal (subject to obtaining a work permit); he is Jose Mourinho first signing at Manchester United.
Bailly is a 22 year old Ivory Coast international who moved to Spain as a youth player at 17 to join Espanyol. He progressed through their youth team and eventually made his first team debut in late 2014. He only made five appearances at Espanyol before being called up to the Ivory Coast squad for the African Nations Cup in January 2015. He was an ever present as the Ivory Coast side won the tournament. To date he has won 15 caps.
On returning to Spain Bailly moved to Villarreal in late January 2015. The season past, 2015-16, his first full season as a La Liga player he played 46 games in all competitions for Villarreal.
Eric Bailly is a strong, quick central defender, although he has also played occasionally as a right and left back. At 6 foot 1.5 inches he reasonably tall and is good in the air. He reads the game well but as he is quick so has the ability to recover if caught out of position.
Bailly is not the finished article, but rather a player with potential. He is raw and at times ill-disciplined having been booked 11 times last season as well as having been sent off on one occasion for two yellows in an early season game against Celta Vigo. His passing can also be erratic. His improving performances through the season though, notably a domestic league game where he subdued Cristiano Ronaldo and several performances in the European competition have attracted the attention of several major clubs. At one point there was talk of him joining Pep Guardiola in Manchester.
Instead he is joining Jose Mourinho so we say Eric Bailly, welcome to Old Trafford.