Former Manchester United midfielder Quinton Fortune believes new signing Eric Bailly has all the attributes to become a successful Premier League defender.
The 22-year-old completed his move from Villarreal to the Red Devils on Wednesday, signing a four-year contract with the club, making him Jose Mourinho’s first signing.
Fortune has watched Bailly in action while commentating on La Liga games and feels the 22-year-old’s pace and strength make him ideally suited to the English game, reports the Manchester United website.
‘He’s a very good signing,’ Fortune said.
‘The first thing I realised when watching him was that he’s very young – he’s only 22 but the way he was playing, I thought he was more experienced.
‘He’s an out-and-out defender who can play across the back four. He’s quick, good in the air and, when he gets the ball down on the floor, he can pass it.
The 39-year-old went on to praise Bailly mentioning that he has all the attributes to make it in the Premier League.
‘Not a lot of people will know about him but he’s a good defender. People will need to have some patience at the beginning but he has all the attributes to play in the Premier League,’ the former Bafana Bafana midfielder added.
Fortune is confident the Ivorian international can handle the pressure of playing for United, since making the transition from Spanish to English football.
‘He’ll definitely feel the pace!’ Fortune said.
‘In Spain, the play is a little slower and more tactical, whereas the majority of games in the Premier League are high-tempo and you need to be on your toes all the time as a defender,’ he said.
‘He’s played against Real Madrid and Barcelona, and he’s an Africa Cup of Nations winner, so he’s had that exposure and has been put under some pressure.
‘But it’s a completely different situation playing for Manchester United. The only way to find out is to throw him in.’
The 22-year-old made 47 appearances for the Yellow Submarine, having joined the club in January 2015, while also featuring in all six of Ivory Coast 2015 Afcon matches en route to lifting the trophy.