FT 2017/18 African Transcendent XI: CB - Eric Bailly [Manchester United]

Many African players have light up the European leagues ever since the days of George Weah. These include Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o, Yaya Toure, Okocha, etc. who have performed at an extraordinary level in the past decades. Mo Salah of Liverpool and Egypt has been the fan favorite this year for his record-breaking goals and guiding his club to the UEFA Champions League final. But this is not all the continent has to offer. There are other young players who are showing early promises of reaching these levels or even better them. Therefore, FirstTouch reflects on the next transcendent U23 players in each position.

Eric Bailly of Manchester United FC has already established himself as one of the top center-backs in all of Europe. He also represents the Ivory Coast national team.

CB - Eric Bailly

The African continent has failed to produce the best talents in this position which means that the focus will be on the Manchester United defender even though he is an already established player. Bailly joined Manchester United from Villarreal for £30m in 2016. He has proved his consistency for the Red Devils but he has had problems with match fitness. He has suffered some setbacks and injuries which have kept him out of the United team of late but the Ivory Coast international is Mourinho’s first preference in the heart of a defense. Bailly is popular for his confident and aggressive approach to the game not forgetting his passing abilities. He can easily pass as a defensive midfielder because of his power, pace and forward runs that he often makes whenever he is given the freedom to roam around the pitch in search for a goal. Many African players have light up the European leagues ever since the days of George Weah. These include Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o, Yaya Toure, Okocha, etc. who have performed at an extraordinary level in the past decades. Mo Salah of Liverpool and Egypt has been the fan favorite this year for his record-breaking goals and guiding his club to the UEFA Champions League final. But this is not all the continent has to offer. There are other young players who are showing early promises of reaching these levels or even better them. Therefore, FirstTouch reflects on the next transcendent U23 players in each position.