By Callum O'Connell

6th Nov, 2023 | 10:30am

Leon Bailey earns high praise with recent 100% displays at Aston Villa

Leon Bailey has earned high praise as a result of his recent performances both for Aston Villa and Jamaica, despite the disappointing 2-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest on Sunday 5 November.

Bailey has three goals and two assists in just nine appearances so far this season, with a number of those coming from the bench, and he will be looking to push on with his flying start to the season.

Former Eurosport journalist Dean Jones claimed the Jamaican is “playing the best football of his time at the club”, with the competition for places driving him to hit higher levels. [GIVEMESPORT, 5 November]

Jones may be right with his take. Despite several of his performances coming from the bench, with just two starts in his nine Premier League appearances so far this season and an average of 35 minutes per game, Bailey is just one goal and two assists away from hitting last season’s total goal contributions. [Sofascore]

His last five games for club and country have seen him record five goals and assists, with his influence on the Villa squad becoming clear and the option he provides to Unai Emery a much-appreciated impact, particularly in tight games.

Even in that disappointing 2-0 defeat to Forest, Bailey was pressing to make a difference from the bench. In his 45 minutes of play, the winger made a key pass, attempted four crosses, had three shots and attempted six dribbles and he looked to take the initiative in the game.

His duel success was sloppy with just two from eight ground duels won, but a 100% success rate in the air showed his desire on the pitch, and while he didn’t manage to change the game, his determination and drive to make things happen was clear.

While he may not always be trusted to perform from the start, Bailey’s recent form has made him impossible to ignore, and the ability to make such a difference from the bench can be a game-changer in the tight games Villa may face in the long season to come.

In other Aston Villa news, one forgotten man could quit the club in January.