'Overzealous Bailly not the finished article' - Pallister backs 'rash' Man Utd star to improve

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The £30 million defender remains a work in progress at Old Trafford, but is being tipped to fulfil his obvious potential once he has more experience

Eric Bailly has been branded “overzealous” and “rash” by Manchester United legend Gary Pallister, but is acknowledged to not be “the finished article”.

The Red Devils spent £30 million acquiring the Ivory Coast international from Villarreal in the summer of 2016.

He enjoyed a productive debut campaign in England, although injuries have been an issue throughout his time at Old Trafford and restricted his involvement.

Bailly is, however, only 23 years of age and Pallister believes the faults in his game will be ironed out as he continues on a course to becoming one of world football’s elite centre-halves.

The former United defender, who counts four Premier League titles on his distinguished CV, told the Manchester Evening News of a man following in his footsteps: "I don't think he is the finished article. I think overzealous is the description I would use for him at the moment.

"He's not always going to catch the eye with stuff he does on the ball. He loves defending. He's aggressive and willing to put his body on the line.

"As he grows in stature, he will get better and better. He's not the finished article he could possibly be and is a little bit rash at times and desperate to win the ball. That comes with age and maturity."

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Fitness issues mean Bailly has made just 52 appearances for United across two seasons.

He has only taken in 14 outings in the current campaign, but is a favoured option of Jose Mourinho when match sharp and will hope to end 2017-18 on a high.

That could be in an FA Cup final, with the Red Devils seeking to take another step down that path when they face Brighton in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

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