Leon Bailey: Things to know about exciting Jamaican winger

30 July 2021 08:30

Bayer Leverkusen's Leon Bailey is no stranger to speculation surrounding his future.

The winger has been courted by a whole host of Premier League heavyweights at one time or another with Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City all previously credited with an interest in securing his signature.

Bailey is once again attracting admiring glances from these shores with Aston Villa desperate to secure his services, though - as exclusively revealed by 90min recently - they now face stiff competition from Everton, Wolves and Southampton.

With the Jamaica international possibly on his way to England this summer (again), we've provided you with a rundown of everything you need to know about the talented winger.


1. He's had an odd career path so far

Leon Bailey has had to fight his way to the top | YORICK JANSENS/Getty Images

Bailey's route to top level football has been anything but ordinary.

The winger started out at Jamaica-based footballing school Phoenix All-Star Academy before him and his step-father headed to Europe in search of a club.

Having tried their luck in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands, Bailey impressed during a trial at KRC Genk, though the Belgian side were unable to offer him a contract due to him being only 15.

A pre-contract was signed - something not permitted in Belgium - and after the authorities got wind of said agreement Bailey was forced to move back to Jamaica.

He eventually returned to Europe where he signed for Austrian side Liefering before moving to Slovakian outfit AS Trencin. Then in 2015 his career went full circle and he ended up back at Genk - certainly a story for his grandkids.


2. Young Belgian Footballer of the Year

Leon Bailey during his time at Genk | Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

You might not think being named the best young player in the Belgian league is a particularly great accolade, but when you hear the list of previous winners you'll realise it's a big deal.

Bailey was awarded the Young Belgian Footballer of the Year in 2015/16 during his time with Genk, joining a roll of honour including Youri Tielemans, Axel Witsel and Vincent Kompany.

Aston Villa striker Wesley won the award two years after Bailey, and if the Villans do secure the Jamaican's signature they'll hope he has more luck in the Premier League than the Brazilian.


3. Issues with his national team