Whilst Tottenham Hotspur will play out their final Group J game in the Europa League later this evening, their scouts will be scouring over another fixture in the early kickoff…
According to the Daily Mail, the north Londoners will be watching the performance of Leon Bailey as Bayer Leverkusen welcome Slavia Prague to the BayArena in Group C.
The Bundesliga outfit have already qualified for the knockout stages and are merely one point behind Bayern Munich in the German top-flight, in part largely down to the form of the tricky Jamaican winger.
Arch-rivals Arsenal as well as fellow Premier League teams Everton and Manchester United are also set to send scouts to watch the 23-year-old.
It’s claimed that Leverkusen values their key man at £36m and won’t necessarily budge over selling him after losing Kai Havertz in the summer.
A string of eye-catching performances has seen Bailey deliver five goals and six assists from 14 appearances in all competitions, via Transfermarkt.
The right-sided speed demon is also averaging 2.4 shots, 1.4 key passes, 1.4 dribbles and 0.9 crosses per game, which only goes to show just how much of a nuisance he has become.
Perhaps the exit of Havertz has allowed the 5 foot 10 dynamo to shine finally. It’s led to manager Peter Bosz suggesting that his main man “gets better with every game” not just physically but in terms of a footballing brain too.
After being clocked at a whopping 21.4mph during his maiden campaign in the Bundesliga, he quickly drew comparisons to Arjen Robben, though he may well surpass that ability after claiming he does more than simply cut-inside: “I can go down [the outside], cut inside and shoot, but for me, it’s about more than that. I can make defenders think more.”
Jose Mourinho was the man that brought the enigmatic Dutchman to Stamford Bridge in 2004, but it is another Chelsea superstar that Bailey is even more comparable too – Eden Hazard.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Tony Cascarino suggested that current Blues maestro Christian Pulisic would become a hybrid of the two wing wizards, though maybe it’s actually Bailey instead.
“He’s so fast it’s not normal. His speed, combined with his technique, is very rare. Exceptional. He has no weak points,” once said former Ajax youth coach Ronald de Boer.
Indeed, these are all characteristics that pair Bailey and Hazard up in similar nature.
It is also true that Mourinho already has a plethora of wingers to choose from, but based on this season alone, the Leverkusen sensation eclipses that of the injured Erik Lamela, the struggling Lucas Moura and even Gareth Bale, who is truly yet to hit the ground running in his sensational return.
Daniel Levy must pull out all the stops this January, that £36m could be the steal that edges them closer towards genuine title contention. Get it done.
AND in other news, Exclusive: Spurs outcast tipped for SHOCK EXIT in January…