Eric Bailly, Manchester United player who is currently on loan at Marseille, said the club should avoid preference for English players and should give everyone equal chances. The Ivorian departed Old Trafford this summer on loan after failing to break into the club’s starting line up despite the defensive ordeals that have rocked the club for years.
Bailly was José Mourinho’s first signing when the Portuguese joined the club in 2016, he had been out of favour under Jose’s successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick after managing three starts in the league last season.
His spell at the club has been hampered by records of injuries since joining the Red Devils.
Bailly extended his contract at Old Trafford to April 2021, just less than a month the Ivorian demanded that he wants to leave if no playing time is guaranteed.
With Lisandro Martínez arriving, Rafeal Varane, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindeloff’s availability posed a threat to his playing time.
He’s now joined Marseille on loan for the season, a deal that will become permanent for £5.9million if he plays a certain number of games and the club qualifies for next season’s Champions League.
Bailly is back on English shores on Tuesday, with Marseille opening their account in this season’s Champions League against Tottenham, and ahead of the game, he has voiced his displeasure at the selection policy of his parent club.
“The club should avoid favouring English players and give everyone a chance. [The club should] encourage competition in the dressing room, not just look out for some. I’ve always had the feeling that the national player was prioritized,” Bailly told The Times.
“That doesn’t happen at Chelsea or other big Premier League clubs. Some people take it for granted that they are going to start, and that weakens the team. Luckily, [Erik] Ten Hag has a lot of character and I hope he can change that dynamic.”
“I met Erik Ten Hag in the dressing room at the end of last season when he went to sign his contract,” Bailly said. “I was packing my things because I intended to leave, but he told me he wanted me to stay because he was going to give minutes to everyone.
“I agreed to do the summer tour with United, and he kept his word, but I would rather not play now and then. I want to do it every week and feel important. I want to get my confidence back.”