Aston Villa are preparing themselves for life after Jack Grealish as they managed to bring in highly-rated winger Leon Bailey from Bayer Leverkusen and English striker Danny Ings from Southampton this week. The duo’s capture should enhance Villa’s attacking prowess this season, with their skipper Grealish set for a big-money switch to Manchester City in the coming few days.
Jamaica international Bailey was the latest in a string of exciting young attacking talent nurtured by Leverkusen, joining the likes of Kai Havertz and Julian Brandt in securing a move away from Die Werkself.
However, unlike Havertz and Brandt who secured moves to larger European sides in Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund respectively, Bailey was captured by an ambitious Villa side seeking to improve upon their 11th placed finish from last season.
Scoring 39 times and assisting 26 in his 156 appearances for Leverkusen, 23-year old Bailey has the potential to eclipse Grealish as the Villains’ best player, should head coach Dean Smith allow the Jamaican to flourish properly as he did back at Leverkusen.
Villa fans should be rightfully excited for Bailey’s arrival, as the Birmingham-based side has beaten the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea for the winger’s signature. The £25m fee paid for Bailey should become a bargain should he carry over his impressive form in Germany to the Premier League.
Potentially complementing Bailey’s attacking prowess in Smith’s starting lineup is the arrival of striker Ings from Southampton, which was announced a few days after Bailey’s capture.
29-year old Ings might be injury-prone but made no mistake, when he’s fit he’s explosive on the pitch. In his 100 appearances across two seasons for Southampton, Ings scored 46 times, finishing joint 2nd in the 2019/20 Premier League Golden Boot alongside Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Signing a 3-year deal for an undisclosed fee, Ings should partner Bailey quite nicely up front, with the duo potentially capable of taking Villa into the next level this season.
Both Bailey and Ings became Villa’s third and fourth signings respectively this off-season, joining midfielder Emiliano Buendia who was signed from Norwich City and a returning Ashley Young, with the defender coming back to Villa after a stint at Inter Milan.
Villa could be bringing in even more quality players to their side should Grealish’s sale to Manchester City is to be finalized in the next few days. The Citizens are closing in a monster £100m deal for the Villa captain and should the deal goes through, Villa should have enough money to be invested further into their squad.