In an extraordinary interview, Manchester United defender Eric Bailly has suggested the club “favour” English players when it comes to team selections.

The 28-year-old Ivory Coast international, who recently joined Ligue 1 side Marseille on a season-long loan, has struggled to pin down a first-team spot at Old Trafford since his arrival in 2017.

He enjoyed an impressive debut campaign, where he lifted the Europa League, EFL Cup and Community Shield, but in total, Bailly has played just 113 games in six years for the Reds.

Image credit: AlamyBailly hasn’t had much luck when it comes to injuries, in fairness. But the experienced centre-back will be hoping to pick up some much-needed minutes at French club Marseille.

In fact, he has already notched two clean sheets in his opening two games for Les Phoceens, who gave him an incredible welcome on his debut.

Two weeks after the deal was announced, Bailly has not held back on his time at Manchester United in an interview with The Times.

He said he felt English players were ‘prioritised’ before giving some insight into a chat he had with new manager Erik ten Hag.

“The club should avoid favouring English players and give everyone a chance,” he said.

“[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.

“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.

“I met Erik Ten Hag in the dressing room at the end of last season when he went to sign his contract.

“I was packing my things because my intention was to leave, but he told me he wanted me to stay because he was going to give minutes to everyone.

“I agreed to do the summer tour with United, and he kept his word, but I don’t want to play every now and then. I want to do it every week and feel important. I want to get my confidence back.”

Back in April, Bailly’s response to a fan asking new manager Erik ten Hag to play him more went viral.

In a post on Instagram, a fan asked for the Ivorian to start alongside Raphael Varane during the 2022/23 campaign – a comment that brought the reply: “Please,” with a laughing emoji and praying emoji.

Thoughts on Bailly’s recent comments? Do you agree with his statements?

Let us know in the comments.