Arsenal has been linked to Leon Bailey for quite some time, but nowadays, he doesn’t sound like the most attractive option, oddly enough.
Ever since his big breakout year, Leon Bailey has been on the top of a lot of transfer lists, not just at Arsenal. With nine goals and six assists in the 2017/18 season at the ripe age of 20, he proved himself to be a threat worth keeping an eye on and now, he’s being linked to a move to the Emirates again.
This time, however, I’d pass. Not because I don’t still admire the Jamaican winger, but because we just don’t need another young winger.
As it stands, Bailey has not been able to return to that fantastic 2017/18 end product. He managed just five goals and an assist in his encore season and thus far into the 2019/20 season, he’s matched that five goals and an assist with just over 600 minutes played.
The skill is there, and at 22-years-old, it’s primed for a step up from Bayer Leverkusen, who, while consistent and reputable, aren’t among the upper echelon.
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But Arsenal isn’t the right place for a near-exclusive young left-winger. Mostly because we already have two near-exclusive young left-wingers, both of whom are younger and both of whom are more homegrown than Bailey could ever be.
Bukayo Saka has sprinted to the top of our youth charts, leading the team in assists and scoring his fair share of goals as well. He’s got as many assists in this campaign than Leon Bailey has in his entire career. That’s saying something since this is Saka’s first full year in the top flight.
Then there is Gabriel Martinelli, who in his first year outside of Brazil, has managed to put himself among our top goal scorers.
Both of these guys would be impacted by Bailey joining the club, and that’s just not necessary. With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang still at the club, Martinelli has been pushed to the bench and Saka has been relegated to fullback. It’s likely that he leaves in the summer, leaving left-wing to Saka and Martinelli, which is a great place to be. There’s no point in adding another body to get in the way. Not unless they aren’t producing, which they absolutely are.
I love Leon Bailey, but the time just isn’t right to see him make the switch to the Emirates. Even if that means he goes somewhere else in England.