Aston Villa’s signing of Bayer Leverkusen star Leon Bailey should have tongues wagging ahead of the new Premier League season and his arrival will provide the club with lots of excitement, but this addition also suggests Jack Grealish’s exit is edging closer.
It was only 12 months ago that Jamaica international Bailey was being linked with a move to Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City, all three clubs being put off by Leverkusen’s asking price, but Villa have managed to nip in during this transfer window and they look to have landed a superstar.
At 23 years of age, the talented winger has bags of ability and he returned a decent nine goals from 30 Bundesliga appearances last season – his joint-best scoring return in a single campaign.
Bailey will now be trying his hand in the Premier League, having signed a four-year deal, and he becomes the third new arrival at Villa Park this summer, following the earlier signings of Ashley Young and Emiliano Buendia.
With a couple more additions, there is every chance Villa could challenge for a European finish (Villa 20/1 – Top 4 Finish) this season but, and this is a major but, the future of England international Grealish will have a huge effect on the club’s goals for the campaign.
Reports are suggesting Manchester City’s £100million bid is set to be accepted and the potential departure of the club captain will leave a huge gap to fill.
Without Grealish, you have to doubt whether Villa can seriously challenge for a European position and a top-10 finish, which is available at 11/10 with Betfred, may be more realistic.
There is no doubt Villa have brought in two fantastic signings in Buendia and Bailey, but neither of those two players are a direct replacement for Grealish and that is the big issue.
If Grealish did end up staying this summer, then there certainly looks to be the opportunity for Dean Smith’s side to look towards the upper echelons of the table and eye a European finish.