Leicester City in line for Leon Bailey
A report by 90min (h/t Independent) mentions that Leicester City are amongst a long list of clubs in the queue for Bayer Leverkusen star, Leon Bailey. Four other Premier League clubs in Everton, Southampton, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and most recently Aston Villa, also share an interest in the 23-year-old winger.
Bailey arrived in Europe from Jamaica in 2011 when he was snapped up by Austrian side, Anif Jugend. After spells in Slovakia and Belgium, Bayer Leverkusen got their hands on the exciting winger in 2017. Since then, he has shown enough in the Bundesliga to warrant his status as a quality player, but is he the right man for Brendan Rodgers?
Leicester can benefit from signing Leon Bailey
The Foxes don’t have the most comfortable situation regarding their wingers. There was a time a few years back when Riyad Mahrez set the Premier League alight in the 2015/16 season to hand them the Premier League title. But he has since left for Manchester City, and Leicester have arguably struggled to fully replace the Algerian in their team.
Rachid Ghezzal, another Algerian wide man, would have offered hope to Leicester fans when he arrived from AS Monaco in 2018. But he failed to find a spot for himself in the starting XI and has spent the last two seasons out on loan to Fiorentina and Besiktas respectively. He may also be on his way out this summer.
According to Fanatik (h/t Leicester Live), Ghezzal is wanted by both Fenerbahce and Galatasaray in Turkey, with the player now in the final year of his contract. If the 29-year-old does depart, he would be the second winger to leave Leicester this summer, with Cengiz Under already linking up with Marseille for this season after his loan spell at the King Power Stadium ended.
Moreover, Leicester also saw Demarai Gray leave for Bayer Leverkusen this January. The English winger has since returned to the Premier League to join Everton in a £1.7m deal. The Foxes also have the dependable Marc Albrighton, whom they signed from Aston Villa seven years back.
But the 31-year-old is in the last year of his deal at Leicester, and according to The Daily Mail, has held talks with Burnley over a potential move this summer. That leaves Harvey Barnes as a winger they can trust for this season, but the 23-year-old cannot do it all on his own on the wings. And Brendan Rodgers would know he needs good depth on the flanks as the new campaign approaches.
In light of their situation, Bailey presents himself as a good option to have in the squad. The Jamaican international, at 23, has garnered plenty of experience for Leverkusen in the top flight as well as European competitions and has already played in 156 games for the German side. He can slot into Rodgers’ XI and would be a long-term asset for the club – if signed this summer.
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He is also in the last two years of his deal which could mean his current club are not in the strongest position if negotiations do begin over a transfer. Bailey, who can play on both wings as well as down the middle, would be a smart signing considering the gaps he can fill in Leicester’s squad. But with other English clubs after the young winger, Leicester should look to act fast.