Aston Villa: £102k-a-week star could be 'like new signing' at Villa Park

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard outside of Turf Moor

Aston Villa winger Leon Bailey could prove to be like a new signing for Steven Gerrard next season, according to Midlands-based journalist Josh Holland.

The £102,000 per-week star signed from Bayer Leverkusen last summer, but constant injuries prevented the Jamaica international from performing at his best.

What’s the latest news involving Bailey?

When Bailey made the switch from the Bundesliga 12 months ago, expectations were high from the Villa Park faithful following his form in the German top-flight.

Bailey scored an impressive 36 goals and laid on 29 assists at the BayArena, which saw the 24-year-old emerge as one of the most highly-rated young wide players in European football.

GiveMeSport Transfer Verdict
GiveMeSport Transfer Verdict

His form saw him named in the Bundesliga team of the year back in 2017-2018, but Bailey has made just 18 appearances since moving to English football.

Bailey showed signs of his quality with an outstanding strike against Everton, his only goal to date, while he also set up two goals for his teammates, although injuries saw him sidelined for more than 15 games.

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However, Bailey has already proven himself in pre-season by playing 45 minutes in each of Villa’s three friendlies and Holland therefore reckons he could be like a new signing for Gerrard’s side.

What did Holland say about Bailey?

He told GIVEMESPORT: “If he can show performances like he did last season against Everton at Villa Park, when he scored his first goal, he could be like a new signing.

“You always get players who struggle in the first season and come back for the second season, they’re almost like a new signing.”

Could Bailey start on the opening day?

Villa might have an abundance of wide players in their squad, but if pre-season if anything to go by, Bailey has every chance of getting the nod when Gerrard’s side travel to Bournemouth two weeks on Saturday.

While he’s yet to play more than 45 minutes, the former Leverkusen star is the only player that Gerrard has started in each of their three friendlies.

Generally, it’s best not to read into pre-season, although on this occasion, perhaps Gerrard’s persistence in Bailey recently suggests that he’s trying to challenge him to prove his fitness ahead of the new campaign.

With that in mind, providing Bailey comes through Villa’s last two friendlies unscathed, then his reward could be a start at the Vitality Stadium.

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