Reports today have said that Aston Villa are interested in £30,000,000 rated winger Leon Bailey.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
According to Tom Collomosse of the Daily Mail, Aston Villa are lining up a £30,000,000 move for Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey.
The 23-year-old, a star for the Jamaican national team, has long been linked with a move to the Premier League, but any rumours had gone quiet over the past season with the winger’s form falling off.
Most Leverkusen fans considered that Bailey wouldn’t be playing for the side last season, with the Jamaican international making it clear that he was itching for a move to the Premier League. He began working with agent Aidy Ward, which all but cemented the thought that Bailey’s career in the Bundesliga would be coming to an end.
In the past season, Bailey had been reduced to a substitute for Leverkusen – but worked his way back into the starting eleven and re-established himself as an integral part of the Die Werkself side. His resurgence aided in Leverkusen’s push for Europe, something many fans considered a stretch following the departures of Kai Havertz to Chelsea and Kevin Volland to Monaco.
An interesting thing to note is that Bailey’s position had changed from previous seasons. Often deployed as a left winger, Bailey would drop deep to assist in Leverkusen’s possession building and struggle to then find his way into the box – which also negated his stronger left foot as a goalscoring option. Leverkusen changed their tack and deployed him as a right winger instead, where the winger could stretch the opposition defence, exploit space and cut inside for a shot. His positioning on the right allowed move goal involvements and better displays.
While his versatility is well-recorded, and the Jamaican can play anywhere across a front three – his strong form last season came from his ‘inside-forward’ style play on the right.
With Aston Villa splashing the cash on a right winger already this season in the form of Emi Buendia, and Bertrand Traore also hoping to capitalise on a stunning, if inconsistent, debut season in claret and blue, the deal would make little sense if Leon Bailey were to be signed as a right winger. That, and the left winger spot isn’t necessarily too free at the moment.
It could be the case that Dean Smith is opting to deploy Jack Grealish as an out-and-out 10, and could deploy the right-footed Buendia on the left, and Leon Bailey on the right.
Leon Bailey currently has two years left on his current deal at Bayer Leverkusen, but Aston Villa have identified him as an ‘attainable’ target, with the club currently without Trezeguet through injury. The club are also said to be open to offers for Anwar El Ghazi, who has attracted interest from the Serie A in the past.
The winger is coming off the back of his best Bundesliga season yet, with 26 goal involvements in 40 appearances for Die Werkself.
It’s an interesting option, and could pose to be a great signing should the deal happen.