Stage set for Leon Bailey to shine as Villa welcome back summer signing

Injury has disrupted Leon Bailey’s start at Aston Villa, but our summer signing is set to return for our clash with Chelsea this weekend.

As per Dean Smith’s comments in his press conference on Friday, Bailey is back at ‘full fitness’ after his stint on the sidelines and will be available at Stamford Bridge as he looks to make up for lost time.

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Bailey, 24, made a 30-minute appearance in the defeat at Watford on the opening weekend before suffering his injury setback, but with his hamstring now fully healed, the Jamaican international will be itching to get to work and to start making a decisive impact in the Villa attack.

With Emiliano Buendia’s absence this weekend, it arguably makes it a no-brainer that Bailey will come straight into the starting XI and take his place on the right wing, and although we face a difficult task against Chelsea, it’s hoped that he can showcase his quality and play a pivotal role in us securing a positive result.

Smith has made no secret of how excited and optimistic he is about Bailey’s impact and influence on this team, with his pace, technical quality, skill, creativity and finishing all making him a stand-out talent and a box office performer.

Naturally, the hope is that we see that immediately this weekend as he looks to set the foundation for what will be a successful career at Villa, with Smith now benefiting from a more dynamic and layered attack with various options at his disposal.

Bailey has all the attributes and characteristics to become a leading figure in this Villa side, offering genuine quality in the final third to make opposition defences fear him and to fire us towards achieving our objectives.

We’ve been starved of seeing a full-strength Villa side thus far with a disrupted pre-season, injuries and Covid issues all ensuring that it has been a frustrating and underwhelming start to the Premier League campaign.

Nevertheless, with Bailey just one of a handful of Villa players coming back to full fitness after recovering from their respective knocks and ailments, the hope is that we’ll be in a strong position to compete and come through this difficult spell of fixtures with a positive outcome as we build and climb the table.

With his lack of playing time in recent weeks, the best of Bailey may not be on show at Stamford Bridge, but as he gets minutes, settles into the side and builds understanding and chemistry with his teammates, it’s going to be a memorable show for Villa fans to sit back and enjoy watching him go to work.