EPL

Leon Bailey set to sign new long-term contract at Aston Villa

By Sports Desk February 05, 2024

Reggae Boyz forward Leon Bailey is set to sign a new contract with English Premier League (EPL) club Aston Villa.

Discussions have been planned over a new deal since December, with Bailey keen to commit his long-term future to the Villains.

Bailey’s existing contract, due to expire in June 2025, was signed when he joined Villa from Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen for a fee in the region of £30million (now $37.7m) in the summer of 2021.

The 26-year-old struggled with injuries during his first year at Villa Park, making only seven Premier League starts and a further 11 appearances off the bench in the 2021-22 season.

He played more regularly last season under Steven Gerrard and then Unai Emery, registering four goals and four assists in 33 league games.

This season, though, has been his most productive at Villa, with his 10 goals in all competitions second only to Ollie Watkins’ 16 at the West Midlands club.

Bailey previously played for Belgian side Genk before joining Leverkusen in 2017. He scored 39 goals in 156 games for the German club before leaving for Villa.

Bailey’s importance to Villa has grown over the winter months, with head coach Unai Emery having been keen to develop the Jamaican’s consistency away from home.

Bailey has become Villa’s most threatening forward, scoring or assisting at an average of every 78 minutes this season.

“His potential is amazing,” says Emery. “Progressively, he’s getting better and he’s humbled to listen and improve. His qualities and skill… sometimes when we play at home, we watch him and think, ‘Wow, what a player’.”

Bailey has largely operated from the right wing this season, scoring 10 times and registering nine assists across 31 appearances. In Villa’s 4-2-2-2 system, the Jamaican’s pace has provided a key outlet on transition, stretching play alongside Watkins.

Internationally, Bailey has played 30 times for Jamaica, having made his senior debut in 2019. He has scored five goals for the Reggae Boyz.

 

 

 

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