Arsenal and Manchester United are reportedly among four Premier League clubs that are set to scout Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey.
According to a report from the Daily Mail, scouts from Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton will all be watching Bayer Leverkusen’s Jamaican forward Leon Bailey when the Bundesliga side clash against Slavia Prague in the UEFA Europa League.
23-year-old Bailey started out at the Phoenix All Stars academy in his homeland Jamaica and had stints in Austria and Slovakia with USK Anif and AS Trencin respectively. However, it was at Belgian outfit KRC Genk that the winger burst onto the scenes, quickly establishing himself as one of the most sought-after young attackers in Europe.
In January 2017, Bailey signed for Bayer Leverkusen and has grown into a key member of the German outfit. Till date, the Jamaican international has featured 130 times for Die Werkself, racking up a return of 29 goals and 21 assists.
Injuries have had an impact on his development but the winger has been in fine form in the current campaign. So far, in 14 matches in all competitions, Bailey has already bagged five goals and six assists, helping Leverkusen occupy the second place in the Bundesliga and qualify for the knockout stages of the Europa League.
Following the summer departure of Kai Havertz to Chelsea, Bailey has had to take up the playmaking responsibilities at the Bay Arena and he has done so with aplomb, making clubs across Europe sit up and take notice with the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United set to send scouts to watch the 23-year-old.
Arsenal had been linked with a move for Bailey earlier this year but the Gunners did not make a move for the Jamaican. Instead, they brought in Willian on a free transfer to bolster their wide-attacking department. However, the Brazilian has proven to be a dud so far and with Nicolas Pepe also blowing hot and cold, bringing in an in-form, dynamic attacker like Bailey would make sense.
Manchester United’s search for a right-sided winger has been going on for a long time. The club failed in their pursuit of Jadon Sancho this past summer and while they did bring in two promising talents in Facundo Pellistri and Amad Traore, someone like Bailey might be an upgrade, considering his experience at the highest level, despite being just 23 years of age.
Tottenham’s need for a new wide player shouldn’t come as a surprise as Erik Lamela continues to struggle with injuries while Lucas Moura has found it difficult to contribute with goals on a regular basis. While Gareth Bale did arrive on loan in the summer, he hasn’t made the desired impact as of yet and may not stay at the club beyond this season.
Bailey, who is contracted with Leverkusen till 2023, is also being monitored by Everton, while Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain are also keeping tabs on the 23-year-old.
Leverkusen had slapped a £36 million valuation on the attacker last summer but could increase that price-tag after his improved form and substantial interest in his services. It will be interesting to see if any of these clubs do make an attempt to sign the Jamaican either in January or in the summer.