The Spaniard won his first two league matches in charge of the Villans, beating Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester United before the break for the World Cup, but Jurgen Klopp’s side proved to be too much for them to handle.
Emery was let down by a few of his players on the night as Villa struggled to deal with the quality on display from the Merseyside giants and one dud, in particular, who failed to step up to the plate was Leon Bailey.
Bailey has scored four goals and assisted four in 33 Premier League matches since the start of last season and Emery may already be looking at him as a player to replace in the upcoming transfer window.
He has not produced consistent quality in the final third for the Villans and his display against Liverpool showed that he does not have the ability to be a difference-maker in the big matches, as the likes of Andy Robertson and Virgil van Dijk were able to keep him quiet with relative ease.
The Mirror recently reported that Villarreal winger Arnaut Danjuma is on the club’s radar and Emery could finally ditch Bailey by securing a deal to sign the Dutchman, who he worked with in Spain.
Former Premier League striker Kevin Phillips once described the Dutchman as a “nightmare” for defenders and claimed that he can “hurt” any defence on his day, whilst EFL Quest pundit Clinton Morrison dubbed him an “exceptional talent“.
These comments are backed up by his excellent form for Villarreal throughout the 2021/22 campaign as he plundered 16 goals and four assists in 34 appearances for the club in La Liga and the Champions League combined.
The gem, who has racked up 108 goals and assists combined in his club career, also played 14 games in the Premier League during his time with Bournemouth, before scoring 15 goals in 33 Championship matches, and this suggests that he would not need much time to adapt to playing in England.
His pre-existing relationship with Emery also means that he would not take long to adjust to playing under different tactics as he knows what the Spaniard wants from his players, which is another reason why the Dutchman could hit the ground running at Villa Park.
His statistics for Villarreal indicate that he would be a big upgrade on Bailey in terms of the end product that he can provide in the final third. He would offer a far greater goal threat than the former Bayer Leverkusen man and allow Emery to axe the dud by arriving in January.