The 24-year-old arrived on English shores with a sizeable reputation following his previous exploits in the Bundesliga, but he’s so far struggled to replicate his best form at Villa Park.
What is the latest news involving Bailey?
Bailey first made a name for himself in European football with KRC Genk, registering 15 goals and 21 assists in 77 appearances, earning a move to Leverkusen.
He then went from strength to strength at the BayArena after racking up 65 goal contributions in 156 outings across all competitions for the German outfit.
That form prompted Villa to splash out £25 million to bring Bailey to the Midlands last summer as he formed one-third of the players charged with replacing former talisman Jack Grealish.
However, things have not gone to plan for the Jamaica international. Injuries and a lack of form have seen him limited to just four Premier League starts all season, and the last time he featured from the off was on 27 November.
Bailey has managed to score one goal and provide two assists in his 514 minutes of top-flight action, though, showing a glimpse of his true potential, yet he’s been unable to do so on a regular basis.
What has O’Rourke said about Bailey?
According to Transfermarkt, the skilful forward has missed 67 days of the season with a thigh injury which has significantly disrupted his campaign.
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But O’Rourke believes the best is still to come from Bailey in a Villa shirt and admitted that he thought the club’s fan base were going to see a ‘really impressive’ player this term.
He told GiveMeSport: “I thought we were going to see a really impressive Leon Bailey this season, but injuries have halted that, and I think Aston Villa fans are still yet to see the best of Leon Bailey.”
Why has Bailey not been playing?
Bailey’s fitness woes have prevented him from gathering any rhythm or momentum throughout 2021/22, but Steven Gerrard’s tactical setup has also hindered his progress.
The 41-year-old tactician has changed to a 4-3-1-2 formation in recent weeks to get strikers Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings in the same side, sacrificing his wingers in order to do so.
Therefore, Bailey – who earns £85,000-per-week – has only received 54 minutes of game time in Villa’s last five Premier League games, and he’ll surely be hoping for more opportunities to impress between now and the end of May.