Chris Smalling likens Eric Bailly to United great Nemanja Vidic

Chris Smalling likens Eric Bailly to United great Nemanja Vidic

Chris Smalling is drawing comparisons between current team mate Eric Bailly and former United central defender Nemanja Vidic.

Ben Strange

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has likened his new defensive partner, Eric Bailly, to former United captain Nemanja Vidic.

The Serbian defender was a fans favourite at Old Trafford, a place where he spent eight years of his career, dominating in central defence alongside Rio Ferdinand.

He became a United great for his robust style and for his leadership qualities, and Smalling cannot help but compare his new team mate with Vidic.

He said: "As defenders we need to be vocal and he’s getting a lot stronger at that, with his English really improving.

Smalling hailed Bailly for being "very physically imposing" as well as "really easy to play alongside" and added: "Nemanja was one of those defenders who was very aggressive, very dominant and took no nonsense."

"Eric plays the same way," Smalling continued, explaining the resemblance as because United's summer signing can "go through a tackle and he doesn’t take risks."

Smalling also added, Bailly will have “many good years” at the club as he continues to adapt to life in England.

United needed Bailly quality

Since the departure of the likes of Vidic, Ferdinand and Patrice Evra from the Sir Alex Ferguson era, the Red Devils have struggled to find a consistent partnership as strong as the one that the Serb commanded, but with Bailly impressing this season, United seem to have found a man capable of taking on that mantle.

The Ivorian arrived in the summer for around £30 million as a relatively unknown player, and eyebrows were once again raised after the club spent big money on a youngster.

But the former Villarreal player has arguably settled into life in Manchester quicker than any of their other higher profile signings such as Paul Pogba or Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Bailly and Smalling have begun to form a partnership that looks promising for the red devils, as Jose Mourinho continues to go about turning the club back into Premier League title challengers, and realistic competitors in European competitions.