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Leon Bailey has been stealing a living at Aston Villa

Aston Villa showed an element of desperation following the £100m sale of Jack Grealish, as not only were they tasked with replacing their main attacking threat and captain, but they also possessed essentially unlimited money to do so.

Whilst this may seem like a dream, it presents two directions with which to pursue.

 The first is to invest heavily into one big asset to directly replace him, and risk that big money signing might not work out.

Should Aston Villa ditch Leon Bailey?





The second, seemingly safer, and approach that ex-manager Dean Smith took, was to spend a multitude of smaller amounts of money to see his output spread out amongst various new additions.

During the 2021-22 campaign, he and Steven Gerrard spent around £116.84m on numerous players, including two wingers and a striker. It is a damning assessment of Smith’s work this window that he is no longer in a job anymore.

None of these arrivals has lived up to the name they were brought in to replace, with Leon Bailey arguably the most disappointing due to his lack of playtime.

The Jamaican joined with a great recommendation from Germany, having recorded nine goals and nine assists the season prior in the Bundesliga.

He featured 40 times that campaign in all competitions, yet after a full year at Villa Park has only managed 27 appearances, scoring three and assisting three.

The fact that he cost a whopping £25m makes this underperformance even more frustrating, as the 25-year-old has also been sat on a £65k-per-week wage.

That means that in total, across his 62 weeks at the club, he has cost £29m – just over £1m per appearance.

Injuries have halted his progress at the club, of course, but even when given the chance he has disappointed.

This season he has featured eight times in the Premier League, yet only has an average SofaScore rating of 6.67.

He is a luxury player that they simply cannot afford, and with Philippe Coutinho and Emiliano Buendia also vying for starting places, he has fallen well behind in the pecking order.

Gerrard must surely consider ditching this injury-prone and underwhelming dud, whilst he still has any money attached to his name.

Article title: Leon Bailey has been stealing a living at Aston Villa

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