Chelsea Opinion: Reigniting interest in Leon Bailey certainly makes a lot of sense for the Blues
Chelsea have filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport after the verdict of FIFA’s Appeal Committee regarding the transfer ban went against them. The Blues are still waiting to hear the verdict of their fresh appeal but that hasn’t stopped them from monitoring their potential targets for the summer. (h/t Metro)
Bailey was heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge last summer but a deal never really materialized, with the 21-year-old staying put in the Bundesliga. However, the sale of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid has prompted the Blues to look to a like-for-like replacement for the Belgian and they have identified Bailey as someone who perfectly fits the bill.
Metro understands Bailey, who has a contract with the Bundesliga outfit until the summer of 2023, is rated at £80 million, meaning that Chelsea would need to shell out a club-record amount in order to get their hands on the coveted winger.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Bailey rose to prominence with Belgian club Genk, where he carved out a reputation for himself as one of the best-emerging prospects in European football.
The starlet accumulated 15 goals and 21 assists in 77 appearances for the Belgian giants before Bayer Leverkusen beat off competition from a host of top clubs to sign the winger back in January 2017.
Bailey made an instant impact in the Bundesliga and impressed with a staggering 9 goals and 6 assists in his debut season in the German top-flight. However, his returns dipped considerably this past season, with the 21-year-old only managing 5 goals and an assist in 29 Bundesliga outings.
That, however, hasn’t apparently quelled Chelsea’s interest in the talented winger and the Blues believe he can make the step up to the Premier League, and eventually fill in the boots of Hazard. Metro claims that Chelsea are in the market for a young and talented winger with loads of potential and the Jamaican certainly ticks that box.
To put things into perspective, it is a no-brainer that Chelsea would strike gold with the signing of Leon Bailey this summer, although any transfer activity at Stamford Bridge solely rests on the verdict of the transfer ban.
However, taking transfer embargo out of the equation, Bailey could prove to be a massive coup of the Blues and the perfect man to replace Hazard in due course of time.
Essentially a left-winger by trade, Bailey is predominantly a left-footed wide playmaker who is noted for his pace, dribbling, acceleration, sharpness and agility. The youngster combines his lightning pace with his quick acceleration and mesmerizing dribbling skills to terrorise full-backs, whilst also possessing excellent crossing ability to set up goalscoring chances from the wide areas.
Bailey’s ability to cut inside with pace and change directions in the blink of an eye coupled with his eye for key passes in the final third make him a genuine threat up front. A recognised set-piece specialist and a powerful shooter from range, Bailey is also capable of finding the net from outside the box.
The arrival of Christian Pulisic should hand Chelsea a massive boost but he is not the sort of player who has the firepower and the X-factor to replace Hazard. Bailey, on the other hand, looks more like the real deal, given that he has the ability to rip defences apart with his pace and skills.
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Willian and Pedro are expected to be at the club for the next season but Chelsea need to start looking for younger players in the market and it is not difficult to see that Bailey has the talent and the potential to be the next big thing at Stamford Bridge in the years to follow.
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