Saturday 17 March 2018

Jose Mourinho says he can make first Man United signing as good as former Real Madrid protégé

Eric Bailly and Raphael Varane.
Eric Bailly and Raphael Varane.

Harry Yorke

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes he can turn £30million signing Eric Bailly into another Raphael Varane.

Mourinho saw his new players in action for the first time on Saturday in a 2-0 friendly win at Wigan, where around 7,000 travelling United fans gave the manager and team a rapturous reception.

Bailly, who was Mourinho's first Old Trafford signing, joining from Villarreal last month, was one of the stand-out performers against Wigan and the Portuguese believes the Ivorian can become just as good as French international Varane, who played under Mourinho at Real Madrid.

“I will give Eric everything to try to make him better and better like I did with other central defenders I’ve had in my hands," said Mourinho.

"Like for example Varane and I will try to make him the best I can.  Of course he is a very young boy coming from a completely different environment, but you could see what he is at this moment.

“He has showed the potential we saw when we decided to buy him."

Alongside a confident display from Bailly, fellow debutant Henrikh Mkhitaryan, a £26million signing from Borussia Dortmund, also impressed Mourinho, his first-half performance marked by probing runs and silky footwork that constantly threatened Wigan’s defence.

"He can play in different positions behind the striker. It doesn’t matter where. He is magnificent the way he thinks about football, he thinks very quickly and it's so sweet how he touches the ball.

“The most important thing is to help the team winning the games. That’s the main thing for me.”

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