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Aston Villa: Leon Bailey struggling further after Coutinho arrival

Aston Villa’s season has been a tale of two halves so far with the side falling into 16th with Dean Smith before Steven Gerrard was appointed in November.

They are now battling for a comfortable spot in the top half of the table currently ninth in the Premier League table, thanks to a huge U-turn in performances with the help of their new manager.

The Villa boss added some key signings at the first opportunity in the January transfer window, securing the signatures of Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne, with the pair of them becoming consistent starters in the team since their arrival.

The Brazilian especially has made a notable impact since arriving less than eight weeks ago, scoring four goals and assisting three times in just nine appearances so far.

With that in mind, the addition of Coutinho has pushed the competition for a position in the forward line to new extremes, as the side’s attacking options were already highly competitive before the Barcelona loanee’s arrival.

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Now with speculation mounting on Villa’s plans to permanently sign the forward, it could mean Gerrard needs to make a decision on the future of the other players struggling for a spot.

One player who has suffered the sting of limited game time this season is summer signing Leon Bailey, who has only made 13 appearances for his new club, scoring one goal and serving up two assists for his team so far.

The addition of Coutinho hasn’t helped his cause and if he signs permanently, match action for Bailey will be even trickier to find.

The £85k-per-week winger who was hailed “extraordinary” by Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Völler, joined Villa park after stealing the spotlight in the Bundesliga with a goal involvement every two games for Bayern Leverkusen and was also named Young Belgian Footballer of the Year in 2015/16, proving that he was a notable talent to acquire.

Bailey now finds himself struggling to gain consistent playing time at Villa following a succession of injuries, and transfer insider, Dean Jones, believes that Gerrard has a big decision to make on the player’s future at the club, telling GIVEMESPORT:

“It will be up to Steven Gerrard to contemplate whether to work hard enough on him to find a role within the setup he’s got or is it just worth selling him and finding somebody he’s going to get a quicker turnaround from.”

Should Villa sell Leon Bailey?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Aston Villa are in a prime position to push on further next season to secure a spot to qualify for European football next season and he has important decisions to make in his squad to complete the goal he has set for reaching that landmark for the club.

With the talent that Bailey clearly has, he could be an asset for the team, but will surely be looking for more game time.

In other news: AVFC plot bid to sign £50m gem who’s “Champions League material”, imagine him & McGinn

Article title: Aston Villa: Leon Bailey struggling further after Coutinho arrival

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