Aston Villa have confirmed a major injury boost over Leon Bailey ahead of their Premier League encounter with Arsenal on Friday night.
Dean Smith’s side have been without the summer signing for the past three games in the Premier League after being forced off in the second half against Everton back in mid-September.
However, speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the game against Mikel Arteta’s side at the Emirates Stadium, the Villa manager said: “Leon Bailey and Bertrand Traore have both trained over the last couple of days and both will be available for the squad down at Arsenal.
“But we have to be aware that Bailey’s had a thigh injury for four weeks so we have to assess how much of a risk we take with him. We are building up their fitness, they will be in the squad, but we’ll have to assess where they are. They have both been out injured for a few weeks, so they are lacking minutes.”
The Jamaica international has had an injury-disrupted start to life at Villa Park, playing just 85 minutes of football in the Premier League, but even in that limited amount of game-time, he has shown exactly why Villa fans should be excited about their summer signing.
After coming off the bench to great effect against Watford on the opening day – he marked his Premier League debut for the club by setting up John McGinn’s goal and almost sparking a late comeback – the Jamaican flier showed just what he can bring to the table when he delivered another barnstorming cameo against Everton.
Having come on as a substitute once again, Bailey whipped in the corner which was turned in by Lucas Digne, before firing in a superb goal of his own to seal an impressive 3-0 win for Villa.
Speaking before the Midlands club officially confirmed the deal to sign the winger, Alan Hutton threw his backing behind a move for the Jamaica international.
He said: “I’m so excited to see this one. I’ve heard a lot about him over the past two or three seasons. He’s obviously still very young but he’s electric, he gets people off their seats. That’s what you want in a player.
“But what’s more impressive, 15 goals and 11 assists from wide areas in the German league. That’s unbelievable. It’s the kind of consistency you want from your wingers.”
The fact that he’s now back in the frame to play against Arsenal tonight is sure to have fans absolutely buzzing, especially at a time when Villa have fallen into a bit of a slump.