Why Chelsea need to sign Leon Bailey
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri faces a tough time holding on to the club's top stars. Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois and Willian have all reportedly indicated a desire to leave Stamford Bridge this summer. Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona are allegedly interested in luring the trio away
As Sarri aims to return Chelsea to the top next season, the Italian is engaged in a battle to retain his prized possessions. Barca have been relentless in their attempt to sign Willian, who is no doubt key to the Blues' hopes of success.
Using a high valuation to deter the Spanish champions, Chelsea refused to budge from their £70 million asking price. After a few failed bids, the Catalans turned attention elsewhere, signing Malcom from Bordeaux for £36.5 million. Whether that will end interest in Willian remains to be seen. Regardless, the Blues must make some important signings of their own in the coming weeks. One player who fits the bill is Leon Bailey.
The Bayer Leverkusen winger is one of Europe's hottest break out stars. The 20-year-old dazzled in Germany last season, thereby gaining several top European admirers. Manchester City was linked with making a move. However, the Premier League Champions cooled their interest after recruiting Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez.
For Chelsea, Bailey would prove a crucial acquisition. Although Sarri currently has three wingers to choose from, Hazard and Willian could both leave this summer. Even should they stay, another wide man is needed. Pedro is past his prime.
Bailey posted impressive stats last campaign. He had a better goal return than both Willian and Pedro. While the former scored six times in 37 league games, the latter notched a miserly four goals in 35 matches.
Both Pedro and Willian are advanced in age. The Spaniard is 30 while his Brazilian teammate will reach the same milestone next month. Clearly, Bailey is Chelsea's future.
Bailey would offer a genuine goal threat. He struck nine times in 33 Bundesliga games last season, helping Leverkusen qualify for the Europa League. His pace would also benefit the Blues. Sarri likes a quick transition from defence to attack.
Bailey is reported to have told his agent he desires a move to London. What this will mean for Chelsea is that they get a player ready to hit the ground running. His contribution would no doubt help the club push for Champions League football next season. Perhaps even challenging for the title would be possible.
The Blues need to act quickly to land the Jamaican. After missing out on Malcom, Roma's focus has reportedly shifted to Bailey.
Chelsea risk falling further behind the Premier League's biggest hitters unless their squad is bolstered. When making new signings, it is vital to strengthen the weakest areas. A winger is the main priority at Stamford Bridge. Bailey is a worthy replacement for either Pedro or Willian.