Chelsea are set to face fresh competition from Arsenal in their pursuit of Bayern Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey.
As reported by The Sun, Arsenal have started to take a closer look at Bayer Leverkusen ace Leon Bailey to reinforce their attacking options for next season. The winger is also a target for the Gunners’ Premier League rivals Chelsea.
Bailey, currently 22, is one of the most highly-rated prospects in his position in the world, and has been linked to several clubs since his breakout season two years ago. He joined Bayer Leverkusen from KRC Genk in 2017 for €13.5 million, which at the time seemed like a ludicrous amount to pay for a teenager.
The Jamaican winger spent an entire season on the bench waiting for chances, playing no more than 150 minutes in 2016/17. However, things took a turn for the better for him in 2017/18 when he caught the eye of the world. He scored 9 and assisted 6 in the 30 games he played that campaign.
Even though he was way less involved with returns last season, Bailey’s season has looked like a roller-coaster this time out. To put this statement into perspective, he has played 14 games this season, scoring 5 goals. 2 of these goals came against Bayern Munich where they won 2-1. And while Bailey has been cautioned 0 times, he has been sent off on 2 occasions.
Arsenal spent a sum close to €80 million to land Nicolas Pepe in the summer, but he’s blown hot and cold as the season has progressed. Mikel Arteta will go again this summer to look for a more consistent option – someone who can bring the dynamism currently missing from the team.
With attackers like Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, and Mesut Ozil, Arsenal were dubbed to finish in the top 4, over Manchester United and Chelsea, but currently sit 9th, having won only 9 games.
According to a report published by the Express, the only way Arsenal can raise funds to land the Jamaican wide-man is to sell club captain Aubameyang. The latter is the only player in their arsenal that is capable of improving their budget, to land the £85 million rated forward.
Chelsea are also among the contenders to sign the winger in the summer. The Blues are staring at the possibility of losing ageing duo Pedro and Willian ahead of the next season, which could leave a huge void in their attacking contingent.
So, it makes sense that Frank Lampard is looking at Bailey to boost up his options at Stamford Bridge. But, they will face stiff competition from Arsenal in the race for the Leverkusen star, while Bayern Munich are also monitoring the Jamaican closely.
While a player with the energy and flair of Bailey could partner up well with Nicolas Pepe, Arsenal should – at the moment – be in the market looking for a striker, with Lacazette in poor form and Aubameyang almost inevitably set to leave. It remains to be seen if either of Chelsea or Arsenal launch a move for the winger in the transfer window.