When Eric Bailly signed for Manchester United, it was seen as a fantastic coup. The now 24-year-old arrived after an immense season with Villarreal, and a very impressive performance against Liverpool in the UEFA Europa League Semi-Finals for the Yellow Submarines. However, ever since his move to Old Trafford, it’s never quite worked out. It’s why reports linking the Ivory Coast international with a move to London, with Arsenal, make so much sense.
A strong and agile defender, Emery will know the Ivorian from his time in Spain. In the season mentioned above, Emery defeated Liverpool in the Final – but would have no doubt remembered the immense promise Bailly showed. An inconsistency in partners and erratic personal form has seen Bailly fall out of favor at Old Trafford, though.
So far, he has made a paltry six appearances in 2018-19 – his most recent seeing him give away a penalty away Valencia in a 2-1 loss. Manager Jose Mourinho is seemingly happy to let him move on in a bid to buy another defender for himself, and it would be an interesting move for both parties.
More suited to the front footed style of an Emery team, it might make a good move for Bailly. Young enough to improve and also good enough to point to (some) other reasons for his failure to make the grade at United, Bailly is a fine talent. The ability to start fresh in London would make a lot of sense, and would likely pave the way for Mourinho to finally get the central defender he fought so hard for in the summer.