Manchester United legend Nemanja Vidic is flattered by comparisons with summer recruit Eric Bailly. The 22-year-old Ivorian joined the Old Trafford club from Villarreal during the transfer window and has made a positive impression during his first few weeks in English football.
Bailly has started all of United's Premier League games this season and his no-nonsense approach to defending has drawn comparisons with Vidic, who enjoyed eight trophy-laden years at United after joining the club in 2006.
"It's nice to hear and, from what I've seen, he is a very good player," Vidic told the club's matchday programme United Review ahead of their weekend win against Leicester City. "If he keeps going as he is, he will definitely have a great career at United.
Vidic has been impressed by Bailly's physical strength and his ball-playing skills over recent months. The former captain added that the powerful Ivorian has filled an obvious hole in the United squad.
"I'm glad that someone compares him to me and I hope he will be a player who does very well for us. He's strong and composed with the ball. He's a very confident player. He has a bit of everything," Vidic explained. "What I have seen in the first few matches is that we have a great player for the future and a player I would say we needed. He reads the game well. He already looks a big signing for us."
Bailly was barely known by most United fans prior to his summer switch, but Vidic has been pleasantly surprised by how quickly the centre-back has adapted to life in English football. "I think he's already popular with the fans. Of the signings we've had this year, I think he's the one that has surprised everyone the most," Vidic said of the new United defender.
"He's 22 years old and he went straight into the club and looks at home straight away. That's outstanding for me. We know how many players come to England and need time to adapt and that, for me, is what is so impressive – he's 22 and he has adapted straight away and showed some confidence which is important."