Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of winger Leon Bailey.
The Jamaican arrives at the Premier League club from Bayer Leverkusen, for a fee in the region of £30million.
The 23-year-old was linked with the likes of Bayern Munich and Manchester United not all that long ago, so it’s seen a major coup for Villa and another statement of intent for their plans this season.
Bailey has signed a four-year contract that runs until 2025 with the Villans.
Head coach 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.”
The transfer is their second big-money move of the summer with the club landing Norwich City ace Emi Buendia from under the noses of Arsenal for £33m.
It also comes as captain Jack Grealish is linked with a £100m move to Manchester City.
The England international who has shot to superstardom over the last 12 months is wanted by Pep Guardiola’s side and it’s believed he will either sign for the champions or put pen-to-paper on a huge £200,000 a week contract at Villa Park.
But it’s believed Bailey is not a replacement for the dribbler, who could yet remain in the Midlands.
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It’s back and just in time for the new Premier League season, which begins on 13 August with Brentford hosting Arsenal on Friday night
The Jamaican is a well-known talent in Europe but there have been warnings he may be a touch inconsistent.
European football expert Andy Brassell told talkSPORT: “Bailey is an interesting one because he’s got all the talent in the world, we’ve known that for a long time, and he shows up in big matches – he was behind a Leverkusen win against Bayern a few years ago where he scored a couple of goals and pretty much decided the game on his own,” Brassell added.
“On his day he can be incredible, he’s got everything. He’s a winger and he can go inside and outside, he’s got a very powerful shot, he can score from anywhere.
“But what I would say is his consistency – if it was there the teams he was originally linked with when he arrived in the Bundesliga – the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Bayern back then for £50m or £60m – they would have had them and they would have had him at that price.
“But the consistency has not been there, that’s been the issue, and he wasn’t even in the best Leverkusen team certainly last season.
“If he’s at his best, no question at all, but how often is he at his best? I think he has to knuckle down and prove himself here, and he can do that with the right coaching.
“If Villa get that consistency out of him, they’ll have got themselves an absolute bargain.”
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