By support

15th Aug, 2016 | 8:35pm

Alan Smith compares Eric Bailly to Manchester United great

By Alex Taylor

Alan Smith believes that Manchester United new signing Eric Bailly is in the same mould as club great Nemanja Vidic.

Bailly, who made his competitive debut in his side’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth on Sunday afternoon, was heavily praised by the former Arsenal striker.

“He is the kind of centre-half Manchester United have needed for quite a while,” Smith wrote in the Telegraph. “The aggressive, no-nonsense sort, who is reluctant to take prisoners when the ball is there to be won.

“Not since Nemanja Vidic, in fact, have United fielded a central defender quite like Eric Bailly.

“As it is, the raw materials are in place. But Bailly now has an opportunity under his master’s guidance to become a defender of real substance, revered at Old Trafford like some greats of the past.”

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Smith’s words will further frustrate Arsenal supporters who have seen their own club fail to add to their defensive ranks and watched as their team lost 4-3 to Liverpool on Sunday.

Arsene Wenger has said he is in the market for a new centre-back after injuries rules out Per Mertesacker and Gabriel for the opening months of the season.

Wenger’s side, who have been linked with a move for Shkodran Mustafi in recent weeks, are now for their next game against Leicester at the King Power Stadium next Saturday.

In other Arsenal team news, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has claimed that Arsenal must make “amends” in their next match following their opening-day defeat.