Former Red Devils defender has been impressed by the Ivorian’s performances and hopes he’ll maintain a consistent fitness level.
Since completing his £30 million transfer fromVillarreal
in June 2016,
has been unable to secure a regular spot in the squad. The 26-year-old’s main issue has been his fitness problems and injuries which have let him play only four matches for the Red Devils last season. The Ivorian fell behindHarry Maguire
in the pecking order but has returned to the team’s starting XI since December. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has included the player in all of United’s last four games across all competitions. In Manchester United’s Friday clash against Aston Villa, Bailly’s crucial block prevented Villa from scoring the equalizer in the final moments of the game.
believes that the 26-year-old has enough quality to be included in the squad but must maintain a certain level of consistency in terms of his fitness.
"A big thing that has gone under the radar is Eric Bailly,"
the United legend said on his YouTube channel
"He’s added a little bit of pace and steeliness to that back four. My only issue with Eric Bailly has always been his fitness, he can never stay fit.
"He’s always injured or a game away from an injury, and that’s a problem. You don’t get that consistency of performance or get to know each other.
"I think Maguire needs pace next to him, he has other attributes but pace isn’t one of them. In the modern game, to have two centre-backs who aren’t electric quick, you’ve got a problem.
"Bailly has good attributes, he’s quick and aggressive. If he can cut the silly mistakes out which he had previously and gets away from injuries and gets a clean bill of health, I think Manchester United are onto a good thing."
Asked about the Red Devils’ chances to compete in the league’s title race, Ferdinand responded:
"Whenever I spoke about Man United, the first thing I always said was we weren’t lacking quality, personalities or the right type of characters, it was simply a lack of consistency, we didn’t have it.
"We all know [Paul] Pogba, [Marcus] Rashford, [Anthony] Martial and [Mason] Greenwood can be top players on their day. But were we doing it as collective on a consistent basis?
"The only way to win titles is if you have that word in your armoury: consistency. Last ten games, what they’ve done has been fantastic. It’s title-winning form. They’ve got to continue that."