The Birmingham Mail’s Ashley Preece has revealed what Dean Smith has told him about his potential tactical plans at Aston Villa.
The Villa boss has opted to go with a back-three in recent weeks, and it served him very well just last weekend when they beat Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford in the Premier League.
And now, in a Q&A for The Birmingham Mail, Preece has explained how Leon Bailey could potentially fit into the fold at Villa Park, and the kind of variety Smith has at his disposal.
He said: “Yes, there’s so much flexibility. Bailey could play behind a striker in a 3-5-1-1 system, for example. Loads of strings to Villa’s bow now. ‘It’ll be horses for different courses,’ Smith has told me.”
With Bailey of course out injured at the moment, but one of the club’s marquee signings, Villa fans will be excited at the prospect of how Smith chooses to utilise the Jamaica international in his starting line-up.
The former Bayer Leverkusen star came on for Matt Targett and operated as a more attacking wing-back against Everton last time out, and scored one and essentially made another when his corner was headed into his own net by Lucas Digne.
Whether that position is what would get the best out of Bailey remains to be seen, but as Preece says, the Jamaican could be an intriguing option as someone to operate a lone striker, whether that’s Ollie Watkins or Danny Ings.
Whatever the case, this new tactical shift to a back-three this season in the Premier League could throw up some exciting combinations and line-ups from Smith.