What Leon Bailey's move to Aston Villa means for Jack Grealish's £100m transfer to Man City

Jamaican-born play-maker Bailey has put pen to paper at Villa Park – is he a replacement for captain Jack Grealish?

Jack Grealish could be on his way out of Aston Villa in a £100m move to Man City.

Aston Villa have announced the signing of 23-year-old Bayer Leverkusen forward Leon Bailey.

Bailey has signed a four-year deal at Villa Park with the fee believed to be in the region of £30m.

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Jamaica's Leon Bailey jumps for the ball during the Gold Cup Prelims football match between Jamaica and Suriname at the Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida.

At a glance: 5 key points

- Bailey bolsters an already exciting looking Villa attack. In 119 Bundesliga appearances, he scored 28 goals and racked up 21 assists.

- He brings with him European experience, having played in both the Europa League and Champions League.

- Bailey had been offered to Premier League clubs this summer following Leverkusen’s failure to qualify for the Champions League and it was ultimately Villa that won the race.

Premier League opening fixtures

- His versatility means that he can play anywhere along a front three, giving Dean Smith options to how he utilises him.

- Bailey is 23-years-old. He’s extremely talented but yet still so young. There’s plenty of time for him to get even better.

What’s been said

Aston 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.”

Leon Bailey: “It’s a great club with a big history. I think it’s the right next step for me and I’m excited to get started.

“I’m always going to be there for the team whenever the team needs me and I’ll always put on a great show for the fans.

“It’s been a great time in Germany for me. I’ve gained a lot of love from people there and I’m excited to start at Aston Villa and hopefully gain some more.”


Bailey started his professional career with Belgian giants Genk when he was 18 years old.

After spending just short of 18-months there, he began attracting interest from Europe’s elite and it was Bayer Leverkusen that ultimately landed his signature for €20million in January 2017.

After settling in well in the Bundesliga and scoring winning goals versus the likes of Bayern Munich during his time there, that’s where Bailey has remained until now.

He’ll now prepare for a new, arguably more challenging chapter of his life in the Premier League at Villa Park.

What the signing means for Jack Grealish?

There’s talk that the signing of Bailey now opens the door for Jack Grealish to leave Villa Park and join Manchester City, but it shouldn’t.

Both players are immensely talented in the forward areas of the park but take up very different roles, both from a positional sense and a leadership one.

If reports are to be believed, captain Jack is now all but on his way for a record £100million fee.

A lot can be done with £100m if spent wisely but if Villa are serious about progression, the addition of Bailey should be seen as a complimentary one to Grealish, not a replacement.