Tue | Sep 28, 2021

Bailey set for move to Aston Villa

Published:Sunday | August 1, 2021 | 1:31 AMDaniel Wheeler - Staff Reporter
Jamaica forward Leon Bailey
Jamaica forward Leon Bailey

After five years in Germany, national winger Leon Bailey is reportedly set to make his move to the English Premier League (EPL) with Aston Villa.

According to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, Bailey, 23, who has two years left on his current deal with German club Bayer Leverkusen, will be sold to the Birmingham-based club for a fee of £30 million and will be offered a five-year deal with personal terms expected to be agreed upon. In a statement released by Aston Villa yesterday, the club said the impending signing “is subject to the player completing a medical and finalising personal terms”.

Romano said Bailey is expected to complete his medical and be unveiled this week. The Jamaican had been previously tracked by several Premier League clubs last summer, including Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool, but reportedly were unwilling to pay the £40 million asking price that Leverkusen placed on the player.

Best statistical season

Bailey is coming off his best statistical season for Leverkusen, where he scored 15 goals and registered 11 assists in all competitions. Of those 15 goals, nine of them came in Bundesliga play, which equalled his highest league tally from the 2017-2018 season. However, his nine league assists are the most that Bailey has registered since joining the German club. During his five-year stay, he helped Leverkusen to the German Cup final in 2020, but ended up losing 4-2 to champions Bayern Munich.

Bailey was part of the national senior’s team’s recent 2021 Gold Cup campaign, which ended in the quarter-finals with a 1-0 defeat to finalists the United States. Bailey did not play the last two games of the tournament as head coach Theodore Whitmore said later that he was nursing an injury.

In a recent interview with ESPN earlier last week, Bailey spoke of his readiness to ascend to the next level and take on a new challenge.

“I’ve been working hard to be able to reach where I am today. I feel like I’m at an age and point in my life where I feel like I’m ready for the next step,” Bailey said. “Hopefully, we can make that happen. I feel like I need a new challenge, so anywhere (is fine) where it’s a good opportunity for me to really showcase myself and work hard.”

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com