According to a recent report from The Daily Star, Tottenham are eyeing up a move for defender Eric Bailly. The 24-year-old currently plays his football at Premier League giants Manchester United and has done so since leaving Villarreal back in 2016, although the centre back hasn’t always been first-choice under manager Jose Mourinho.
And with things proving difficult for the Ivory Coast international this time round as well, he could well be set for a move away from Old Trafford in the near future, and Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs are one side reportedly keen on the defender, as are North London rivals Arsenal.
And while Bailly has somewhat flopped in the Premier League in the last few years, there is clearly a very good defender in the 24-year-old, which is why the addition of the £31.5 million-rated star (as per Transfermarkt) could prove to be a Tottenham masterstroke.
Ultimately, Bailly made the move to United a few years ago as new boss Mourinho sought to seriously improve the Red Devils rearguard, and there were good signs from the Ivorian in his first season, with the 24-year-old arguably becoming the club’s number one centre back.
The former Villarreal man appeared 25 times in the Premier League that term as Mourinho’s side finished sixth in the table, thus underlining that Bailly has indeed proven his worth at top-flight level, even if things have since taken a turn for the worst for the 24-year-old.
In fact, Bailly now looks to be some way down the centre back pecking order at Old Trafford having managed just seven appearances in all competitions, one of which lasted just 17 minutes against Newcastle United on Saturday, with Mourinho hauling him off with his side 2-0 down.
Thus, it doesn’t appear as though Mourinho rates the centre back particularly highly and as such he could be on his way out of the club in the near future, and while there are likely to be some concerns from Spurs fans, adding the 24-year-old to their squad could prove to be a masterstroke.
Ultimately, Toby Alderweireld’s future still looks like it is away from North London despite him staying at the club beyond the August deadline, and while Davinson Sanchez and Jan Vertonghen have been excellent in the last 12 months or so, the latter isn’t getting any younger in turning 32 next year.
Thus, Pochettino will likely be aware that further reinforcements in that area of the field may be necessary in the near future, and given how much he has improved certain players since taking over at Spurs, alongside his stint at Southampton, he might be able to get the best out of Bailly.
And with the Ivorian having shown glimpses of promise in the Premier League, he clearly has what it takes to become a very accomplished centre back in English football – further guidance and maybe an arm round the shoulder from Pochettino may be needed to extract the best from him.
And at the tender age of 24, alongside 22-year-old Sanchez, the duo could strike up a formidable partnership for many years to come.
Thus, with Bailly’s future seemingly away from Old Trafford, Spurs should look past his early struggles in English football, as there is certainly enough ability there to suggest that adding the defender could prove to be a transfer masterstroke.
Tottenham fans… what do you think? Let us know!