Jamaican Leon Bailey, 23, has been signed by Aston Villa in a contract that will last until 2025 for a fee of £30 million. Bailey played for Bayer Leverkusen for three-and-a-half years. Bailey, 23, comes to the Premier League after having scored 33 goals and set up another 22 during his time with Leverkusen playing in the Champions League. He joined Leverkusen from Genk in 2017 with a record of 15 goals in 72 appearances for the Belgian team. He also tallied 39 goals in 156 games while in Germany.
Dean Smith, head coach of Villa, described Bailey as a “hugely exciting young striker” and noted his “great pace and creativity.” Smith praised his successes at Leverkusen and said his new team is looking forward to watching him display his skills and talents for the Premier League side. It is hoped that Bailey, who is Villa’s third signing in the summer of 2021, will inject pace into Aston Villa’s attack.
Commenting on his new arrangement, Bailey said he was excited to get started with Villa, “a great club with a big history” and believes this is the right move for him at this time. He added that he has always wanted to play for Villa and hoped that “I can do what I do best and have a great season in the Premier League.”
Bailey was raised in the Cassava Piece area of Kingston. Reports in 2017 stated that Bailey planned to refuse call-ups from Jamaica until improvements in the standards of Jamaican football were implemented. He was thought to have agreed to a call-up in October of 2018, but then reneged on the deal after demanding that his brother Kyle Butler also be called up. Bailey was named to the Jamaican provisional squad in 2019 for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, however, and officially said he would accept the call-up and represent the Reggae Boyz at the competition. He earned his first Jamaica international cap in 2019 playing against Honduras in June and scored his first goal for Jamaica in September 2019 against Antigua and Barbuda in a 6-0 victory in CONCACAF Nations League play.
Photo: Leon Bailey Instagram