Everton are reportedly one of four Premier League sides keeping an eye on Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey, according to the Daily Mail.
The report suggests the Jamaican international is a target for several English sides, including newly promoted Leeds United. However, the forward has been courted by several top clubs in Europe before.
Everton are said to have sent scouts to watch Bailey in the Europa League tonight. Die Werkself are hosting Slavia Prague.
According to the Mail, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United will also be scouting Bailey at the match.
Leverkusen have already sealed qualification for the competition’s last 32. However, the victors of tonight’s match will clinch top spot in the group. That’s important when trying to avoid facing the Champions League drop-outs in the next round.
The game will provide Bailey with the opportunity to showcase his talent. Here are three reasons why we think Everton would be wise to snap up the Jamaican in January.
Three reasons why Everton need Leon Bailey
1. Technical ability
Bailey has bags of trickery, pace, technical ability and a wand of a left foot – everything you need in a wide player.
Everton like to play with their wingers and attacking midfielders operating on opposite flanks to their preferred foot. As a result, Bailey would thrive by cutting inside.
He can also be direct and would be a menace for defenders if he’s allowed to roam around the pitch.
Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has also experimented by playing attacking players in wing-back roles. Alex Iwobi on the right, for instance.
Bailey would undoubtedly match Iwobi’s pace on the left flank, providing a twin-pronged threat on the flanks.
2. First-time play
Bailey likes to get the ball into the box quickly. This would benefit the Toffees’ top-scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin and his instinctive runs into danger areas.
First-time deliveries ensure players such as Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison can meet the ball ahead of flat-footed defenders. It helps them to fire a shot past a goalkeeper who hasn’t got time to set his own feet.
Calvert-Lewin has been a huge threat from high balls into the box. He would certainly fancy his chances of adding more goals with Bailey providing service.
Bailey is consistent. He has managed double figures in attacking returns in each of his past five campaigns.
He knows how to find the net and would add to Everton’s formidable attacking threat.
The Jamaican would be more than capable of deputising should Everton suffer more injuries to James Rodriguez or Richarlison suspensions.
Everton always struggle without the Brazilian’s invention and spontaneity, which Bailey would certainly bring. He likes to drive at players, attempt dribbles and even ambitious shots from range.
In a side that sometimes lacks individual brilliance, Bailey would take that responsibility on himself.