As Tottenham Hotspur’s frustrating week continued, the north London outfit caught a glimpse of what could’ve been as former transfer target Leon Bailey announced his arrival in the Premier League.
What was the word?
Back in March, journalist Jonathan Shrager claimed that Spurs had held talks with the then-Bayer Leverkusen winger during the winter transfer window, but evidently it’s a move which did not come to fruition.
It wasn’t the first time that the Lilywhites had been linked with the Jamaican international, as Sky Sports first reported their interest back in September 2020.
The 24-year-old attacker went onto sign for Aston Villa in a £30m deal during the summer, becoming one of the several players that Dean Smith has tapped up to fill the void left behind by Jack Grealish.
Should Spurs have signed Leon Bailey?
One that got away?
Bailey inspired the Villans to victory over Everton at the weekend, with his 21-minute cameo being described as ‘stunning’ by Sky Sports.
After a goalless first half, the Midlands side looked rampant in attack following the introduction of the 5 foot 10 dynamo. Matty Cash bagged his first goal for the club before, three minutes later, Bailey’s corner kick was glanced into his own net by Toffees left-back Lucas Digne. He then got on the scoresheet himself as he latched onto Danny Ings’ perfectly-timed through ball.
It was just a small taste of what Bailey can offer in the Premier League, and given Nuno Santo’s creative struggles, he is someone that Spurs could have done with against Chelsea on Sunday when they were beaten 3-0 for a second successive league game.
As revealed by The Athletic, Spurs sit bottom of the Premier League for expected goals this season, recording a total of just 4.42, which is worse than all of the bottom three currently occupying the relegation zone.
That’s rather damning considering that Nuno has both Heung-min Son and Harry Kane at his disposal.
Bailey, who contributed a whopping 15 goals and 11 assists for Leverkusen last term, would have been an outstanding signing, especially given his ability to play anywhere across the front three and his noteworthy pace.
His average of 1.6 key passes per game in 2020/21 is higher than any member of the current Spurs squad, which only reinforces why Spurs may feel gutted to have missed out on the £31.5m-rated star’s signature in the past.
Once lauded for his lightning pace and described as an “exceptional” talent with no weaknesses by former Ajax youth coach Ronald de Boer, the north London outfit may feel this one sting for a little while as Nuno tries to solve such a major problem.