Aston Villa have announced the signing of Leon Bailey from Bayer Leverkusen for £30m.
Bailey has signed a four-year contract at Villa Park until June 2025 after successfully passing his medical, after representing Jamaica in this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup as the Reggae Boyz lost at Quarter-Final stage to eventual champions – USA.
Speaking on the capture of Bailey, Villa manager, Dean Smith said: “Leon is a hugely exciting young striker with great pace and creativity. He has enjoyed a successful career at Leverkusen and we are now looking forward to watching him show his skills and talents for Aston Villa in the Premier League.”
Bailey added that he sees this move as part of his development, as he said: “It’s the next step for me and I am excited to get started.”
The 23 year-old is a versatile winger and gave fans a glimpse of what to expect in an interview with VillaTV, saying: “Left or right wing but my preferred position is right wing but I can also be a striker too.”
“I like to give assists and I like to score. That has always been me. I like to try and score and also be the one who gives that pass to the player that decides walk it in.”
Villa currently boast top talent in Emiliano Martinez, Jack Grealish and Ollie Watkins but Bailey refused to be drawn as to who he can’t wait to play with most, commenting: “I am looking forward to playing with everyone.”
Bailey also praised the current squad including fellow summer signings, Emiliano Buendia and Ashley Young as being of “great quality” and can’t wait to “add to that” level of class as Villa look to improve on their 11th placed league finish of last season.
Discussing his expectations under Smith, Bailey said: “Yes he has great plans for me and I trust him. That’s why I decided that I am ready to take on the role.
“I think that he is a great person. He is a great coach because he learned success throughout his whole career and I believe that he will be able to help me a lot going forward.”
Bailey joins Villa with 55 goals in 231 club appearances across last six seasons at Leverkusen and Genk as well as 10 international caps for Jamaica.