Manchester United defender Eric Bailly has taken a veiled swipe at the club, accusing it of favouring English players such as under-fire Harry Maguire.
The Cote d’Ivoire centre-back has been loaned out to Olympique Marseille and he says the club should find suitable replacements for underperforming England internationals.
Bailly’s sentiments have ruffled feathers and sparked serious debate in football circles, where fans and legends are sharing their reactions.
Some of the retired players who shared their thoughts include Liverpool legend and television pundit, Jamie Carragher who says Bailly was injury prone and he had to be benched.
“The club should avoid favouring English players and give everyone a chance. [The club should] encourage competition in the dressing room, not just look out for some. I’ve always had the feeling that the national player was prioritised,” Bailly told The Times.
“That doesn’t happen at Chelsea or other big Premier League clubs. Some people take it for granted that they are going to start, and that weakens the team. Luckily [Erik] Ten Hag has a lot of character and I hope he can change that dynamic.”
The Elephants defender was dispatched to the French club on loan this summer and while he could return to Old Trafford at the end of this season, he has aimed a remarkable broadside at the club over a selection policy that he believes prioritised England internationals.
Bailly was frustrated at a lack of game time under former managers, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick last season, starting just three Premier League games, while out-of-form captain Maguire started 28 times in the league.
However, Carragher has shared a different view of the widely reported accusation by Bailly, saying that is just ‘nonsense’.
“Absolute nonsense, Eric Bailly has been injured consistently and poor when he has played. That’s why they keep buying players to replace him! Harry Maguire is a better player,” he wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, the year-old Ivorian defender is set to be in action against Tottenham Hotspur in their opening UEFA Champions League clash at Tottenham Stadium on Wednesday night.
Main Image: Eric Bailly and Harry Maguire/Twitter