Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey has emerged as a target for Arsenal, with the German club demanding £100m for his services. The Jamaican winger has been in fine form this season, torturing defences, netting 10 goals and notching five assists in 19 games this season. This form has alerted Arsenal who could be ready to make a summer bid.
Any interest in the 20 year old will likely to have come from Sven Mislintat, and with Leverkusen holding him in the same regard as Ousmane Dembele, he will not be prized away easily. The fee being touted is as equally outrageous as Dembele’s fee last summer, but he is unlikely to go for that, and if he wants the move, Arsenal will be able to force the price down.
Last summer Barcelona were forced into selling Neymar, meaning they were desperate for a replacement and every man and his dog were aware of the £200m fee they had received. This reduced their negotiating power, thus allowing Dortmund to up their asking price, dig their heels in and make Barca cough up the cash.
Arsenal are not in that position. They do not have pockets as deep as Barcelona’s and Leon Bailey is unlikely to be their top target. Additional strength in the wide positions will be a priority, but it is unlikely to take shape until a goalkeeper, central defender and central defensive midfielder are signed.
Despite this, Arsenal must have a go at signing Bailey. His lightening pace has caused havoc this season, and he’s shown he has a keen eye for a goal. This clinical nature in front of goal is unusual for one so young, as it is usually the last thing to come for a winger, meaning he is likely to be the real deal.
With Iwobi and Welbeck failing to produce much for Arsenal, and Walcott and Sanchez joining Everton and Manchester United respectively, Arsenal lack depth. The signing of Bailey would increase Arsenal’s attacking flair and direct approach. He also brings the option of being comfortable on both the left and the right, due to his strength on both feet.
At present, it’s difficult to see how he would fit into Arsenal’s first choice starting XI, but competition and depth is vital for top teams. If Bailey arrived, he would keep Mkhitaryan, Lacazette and Aubameyang on their toes, and give Arsenal the option of playing him and Mkhi as out and out wingers. This one may be difficult to pull off, but he would be worth every penny.