Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey. The Jamaican has joined for a fee of around £30 million, signing a four-year contract at the club. Bailey joins Villa as their third summer arrival, following Emiliano Buendia and Ashley Young.
Leon Bailey Signs for Aston Villa on Four-Year Deal
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Leon Bailey Profile
Leon Bailey has been an eye-catching forward for a number of years now, lighting up the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen for the past four-and-a-half seasons. Just last summer the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United were watching him, so the signing is a bit of a coup for Aston Villa.
During his time at Bayer Leverkusen, Bailey made a total of 156 appearances. He scored 39 goals, and provided 26 assists, demonstrating himself to be a reliable threat in attacking scenarios. Furthermore, he seems to only be getting better; Bailey posted his best individual stats for a season during the 2020/21 campaign, scoring 16 goals and grabbing 11 assists.
Still just 23-years-old, Bailey has the potential to become a firm favourite for many years among the Villa faithful. One should think that he has yet to hit his prime, so, if all goes to plan, Leon Bailey should only get better during his time at Villa.
Speaking about his latest signing, Aston Villa boss Dean Smith said: “Leon is a hugely exciting young striker with great pace and creativity. He has enjoyed a successful career at Leverkusen and we are now looking forward to watching him show his skills and talents for Aston Villa in the Premier League.”
Leon Bailey has already completed his first interview with his new club. Here’s what he had to say: “For me, it’s a great club with a big history and it’s the right step for me. I’m excited to get started.
“It’s always been somewhere that I’ve wanted to play. I feel like now is the right time and I’m excited about it. Hopefully I can do what I do best and have a great season in the Premier League.”
Further Arrivals at Villa Park?
Aston Villa have been busy in the transfer window so far. They brought in former player Ashley Young on a free transfer from Inter Milan to offer some valuable squad depth. They also secured the signature of Emi Buendia from Norwich City, meaning fans can expect to see an exciting new-look winger duo in the form of Buendia and Bailey.
It seems as though that’s not enough for Dean Smith, as they look to continue their summer spending. They recently failed in their bid to sign Emile Smith Rowe, and also saw an offer rejected by Southampton for midfielder James Ward-Prowse. Whilst these attempts may not have worked out – at least for now in the case of Ward-Prowse – it certainly shows a sign of their ambition, as they aim to continue their upwards spiral of late.
They continue to be linked with Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham, as reported by Fabrizio Romano. Abraham enjoyed a successful loan spell at Villa Park in 2018/19, scoring 26 goals as he helped Villa secure promotion back to the Premier League. Abraham is reportedly unsettled following a lack of game-time at Stamford Bridge. His departure looks inevitable, especially if Chelsea are successful in their attempts to sign Romelu Lukaku.
Villa are also looking to bring in another member of their 2018/19 Championship promotion side. Axel Tuanzebe played 25 times for Villa that season, and according to Mike McGrath of The Telegraph, are hopeful of bringing the Man United defender back to Villa Park too.
Leon Bailey to Replace Grealish at Aston Villa?
As excited as Aston Villa fans should be regarding their new arrival, it seems Bailey joining will be at the expense of their star player leaving. Villa supporters won’t tire of hearing countless rumours of Jack Grealish linked with England’s top club every summer. However, this time, he is closer than ever before to leaving.
David Ornstein of The Athletic has reported that Grealish is ‘on the verge’ of agreeing a deal with Man City. The deal is likely to see Grealish become the most expensive English player of all time, at around £100 million. As they prepare for the departure of ‘Super Jack’, you have to wonder if the signing of Leon Bailey, coupled with Emi Buendia, will be enough to replace their captain.
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