Eric Bailly has identified the two strongest characters in the Manchester United dressing room during his time at the club

Eric Bailly has named the two strongest characters in the Manchester United dressing room while he was at the club.

Bailly’s transfer to Villarreal this summer saw the Ivorian bring to a close seven years at Old Trafford. It had been a period initially marked by promise, with the club winning the Europa League and thus, qualifying for the Champions League in his first season.

However, Bailly’s time atUnited was ultimately scuppered by injury. Bailly started only 67 games in the opening first three and a half seasons, 37 of which came in his first term in England.

“You feel helpless because you can’t change anything when you’re injured,” he told theAthletic. “You don’t want to feel worthless but that’s exactly what you feel. You want to get back training but at the biggest clubs there’s huge competition.”

Nevertheless, reflecting, on his time at United the Ivory Coast international revealed who were the strongest characters in the dressing room.

Bailly name-checked Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic as two of the most influential players during his time at Old Trafford.

He said: “Our dressing room was full of strong characters like Ibra and Rooney. Serious, big-name players. Rooney was much quieter than Ibra, more tranquil.”

Of course, Rooney is one of the greatest players in United history, the club’s all-time leading scorer (253) and the only player to have netted 250 goals for the Reds.

Meanwhile, Ibrahimovic spent only two years at Old Trafford, but his glittering career saw spells at Milan, Inter, Juventus, Barcelona and Ajax.

Bailly also name-checked the much-derided Harry Maguire as a resilient character.

“I got on with the boys I played with,” explains Bailly. “I saw a lot of Victor Lindelof — he lived one minute from my house and spoke Spanish. Harry Maguire was tranquil. I’m glad he’s playing well now; he’s a strong character and he had a difficult time with the English media.”

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