Aston Villa news: Johan Lange signing tipped to become as influential as Jack Grealish

Jack Grealish in action for Aston Villa

Birmingham Live journalist Ashley Preece believes Leon Bailey can become as influential as Jack Grealish was at Aston Villa.

Grealish came through the club's academy and spent seven years in the first-team before moving to Manchester City for £100m back in August.

What's the latest news involving Bailey?

Bailey has endured a frustrating start in England after being brought in by Villa's sporting director, Johan Lange, from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer. The 24-year-old is yet to play from the beginning in a top-flight game for his new team, and has missed four Premier League matches already through injury.

When he has played, though, he has looked an exciting talent. He recorded an assist on his Villa debut against Watford, and then delivered an even better cameo performance at home to Everton last month when he scored his first goal since moving to the Midlands. 

The Jamaican international is currently sidelined once again, but will be hoping to return soon to help Villa push for a European place this term.

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What has Preece said about Bailey in comparison to Grealish?

Despite seeing Bailey play just 85 minutes across three games this season, Preece is already convinced that Villa have a huge prospect on their hands. 

When asked by GIVEMESPORT if Bailey could be as important to them as Grealish was, his four-word response was emphatic, as he stated: "Of course he can."

Clarifying his statement, he then added: "Yeah, in terms of his numbers, goals and assists."

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Can Bailey be as good as Grealish for Villa?

That is a big statement from Preece, considering the impact that Grealish had at Villa in recent years.

The 26-year-old was directly involved in 75 goals in 213 appearances for his boyhood club, and had an outstanding season last year, when he scored six goals and registered 12 assists in the Premier League. It is these numbers that saw him become the first £100m player ever in England.

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Right now, Bailey is not at that level, and his main focus at the moment should be on getting fit and stringing together a run of matches in the side as quickly as possible. Then we will start to see exactly how he good he can be.

His 21-minute display against Everton was breathtaking, and flipped the game on its head. It was the type of performance that Grealish would be proud of, and if Bailey can play like that on a regular basis, he could become a huge player for Villa like Grealish was as the season progresses. 

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