Aston Villa: £25m star tipped for 'big season' at Villa Park

Steven Gerrard taking charge of a Premier League game for Aston Villa

Next season ‘is quite big’ for Aston Villa winger Leon Bailey as he looks to showcase his best form for the club, according to journalist Josh Holland.

The 24-year-old arrived to much fanfare after completing a £25 million move from Bayer Leverkusen last summer but he’s struggled to settle into life on English shores so far.

What is the latest news involving Bailey?

Bailey was charged with being one third of the trio brought in to replace former Villa talisman Jack Grealish after he completed his British-record switch to Manchester City.

And it appeared to be an extremely astute purchase by the Midlands outfit on paper as the Jamaica international had established himself as one of the Bundesliga’s biggest attacking threats in recent years.

During his four-and-a-half-year stay at the BayArena, Bailey registered 38 goals and 26 assists in 155 appearances, and the Villa hierarchy would have been hoping to see a similar return.

However, the skilful forward has managed just one strike while setting up only two further efforts in 18 outings, starting only seven Premier League games due to injury and a lack of form.

What has Holland said about Bailey?

Holland believes 2022/23 could be a pivotal campaign for Bailey in his faltering Villa career as he’s ‘not really done it’ so far in claret & blue.

He told GiveMeSport: “Next season is quite big for Leon Bailey, isn’t it, because he’s not really done it.

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“I know he’s had injuries, and he scored the goal against Everton earlier this season. That was a glimpse of what he can do in terms of his pace, dribbling, power.

“But his strike against Leicester last month when Watkins cut it back, and he put it over; that sums up his Villa career to date.”

Where could Bailey fit in next season?

Under former manager Dean Smith, Villa often played a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation that included two wingers who had plenty of attacking license.

However, Steven Gerrard has often sacrificed the attacking threat from out wide in order to get both Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings into the same starting XI upfront.

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The 41-year-old tactician has set his team up in a 4-3-1-2 and a 4-4-2 diamond shape on several occasions, meaning Bailey has had to settle for a place on the bench.

Unless Gerrard alters his approach, it is hard to see where Bailey fits in, but he must first show the Villa boss that he is worthy of being in the manager’s plans.

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