Ivory Coast international Eric Bailly has accused Manchester United of favouring English players rather than choosing teams on merit.
Last season Bailly made just four Premier League appearances after falling down the pecking order under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.
The 28-year-old joined Marseille on loan, with a £5million option to make the transfer away from Old Trafford permanent if the French outfit qualify for the Champions League.
Bailly is now preparing to face Tottenham Hotspur in their opening Champions League game of the season, but has seemingly hit out at Harry Maguire, who played regularly despite struggling while he failed to get a look in.
He stated that he hopes this will end with new manager Erik ten Hag now in charge at Old Trafford.
“The club should avoid favouring English players and give everyone a chance,’ Bailly said in quotes carried by The Times.
“[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.”
Ten Hag strengthen his central defence in the summer by signing Lisandro Martinez in a £50m deal.
And Bailly has revealed he held talks with the Dutch coach at the end of the 2021-22 campaign, and decided to leave despite the 52-year-old’s desire to keep him because he wanted more regular playing time.
“I met Erik Ten Hag in the dressing room at the end of last season when he went to sign his contract,’ Bailly added.
“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.”
Bailly – who joined United in 2016 – has played twice for Marseille this season but was on the bench for the 2-0 win at Auxerre at the weekend.