Bailly: Manchester United will prove world-class status this season
Eric Bailly says Manchester United have always been at world-class level and is confident the club will prove it this season.
United thumped West Ham 4-0 at Old Trafford to open the new Premier League campaign and travel to Swansea City on Saturday looking to maintain that early season momentum.
Bailly, 23, is entering his second year with a club he feels have always remained at the top level, despite not winning the top flight since Alex Ferguson's retirement in 2013.
He has been buoyed by the arrivals of the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba and Victor Lindelof over the past two years.
"The team has always been at a world class level, they have just had some bad moments," Ivory Coast international Bailly, who joined in a £30million move from Villarreal, told reporters.
"But now it's time to give Manchester United its value. That comes with our hard work and that's what all the players do that come - like Lukaku and Paul, and also Lindelof.
"With all the hard work we put in we are going to demonstrate that we are again a world-class club."
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 17, 2017
Bailly found the move to United a big step up on what he was used to, but praised his team-mates help in his quick adaption to the Premier League.
"I found out when I was in the Ivory Coast," he said of his move to United.
"I didn't believe it was true, I thought it was a dream. Afterwards I found it was true that the team was interested in me and it was something big for me, and I am thankful for everything that happened in that moment.
"When I came to Manchester, it was a bigger step from when I was in Villarreal. It is something that is not easy, when you come to a team where there are players that have more experience in the English league.
"I had to see how the football was played. For me it wasn't difficult because I had very good team-mates that helped and were always looking after me. The dressing room is like a family."
Growing up Bailly was a keen follower of Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, but also drew inspiration from Sergio Ramos at Real Madrid.
"I was following Marseille and looking up to my compatriot playing there, Didier Drogba, and my team was Marseille," Bailly said of his youth.
"I would try to be a striker even though I wasn't and once I started growing up and seeing professional football was a step closer I would look at Sergio Ramos. I always looked up to Ramos as an example and watched him a lot."