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Chelsea are reportedly set to engage in a battle to bring highly-rated Bayer Leverkusen star Leon Bailey to Stamford Bridge in the upcoming summer window. Bailey was linked with a move to the Premier League in the recently concluded January window but the move did not materialise. He has been linked with quite a few bigwigs in the Premier League and it will be interesting to see who ultimately acquires the £100m-rated star’s signature.
The Blues have fallen short of solid attacking options up front and to that end, a move for Bailey could be a much-needed one. However, it must be noted that in doing so, he could be in direct competition with Eden Hazard. Both of them play on the left-wing predominantly and although Antonio Conte could also deploy Bailey on the right-wing, the 20-year-old could act as the perfect Hazard replacement if the Belgian were to exit the club in the summer.
Hazard has been linked with a move to Real Madrid and given how unpredictable transfer windows have become, it might not hurt to have a promising star like Bailey in the ranks.
But how good is Bailey? Is he as good as Hazard? Let’s compare both their stats and find out.
In 34 appearances across competitions for Chelsea this season, Hazard has scored 13 goals and provided 4 assists. He has picked up two yellow cards in the process while averaging 2.4 shots per game. His pass success-rate stands at 82% but the player is quite weak when it comes to aerial encounters, winning about 0.3 of those per game. In addition to that, the Belgian winger makes an average of 2.5 key passes and 4.9 dribbles per game. Hazard has been declared as the Man of the Match 9 times this season so far.
Bailey, on the other hand, has appeared 22 times across competitions for Leverkusen this season. He has contributed 10 goals and 5 assists, having picked up 3 yellow cards so far. Averaging 2.7 shots per game, Bailey has a modest pass success-rate of 74.3% and much like Hazard, he is weak in the air since he manages to win merely 0.7 aerial duels per game. Furthermore, he makes an average of 1.9 key passes and 2 dribbles per match. He has won the Man of the Match award thrice until now.
The fact that Bailey has managed to accomplish numbers that are very similar to Hazard’s despite playing lesser games and being so much younger is quite impressive. He is a work-in-progress but there is no doubt that he will prove to be a valuable addition at Chelsea. Whether or not he can take up the responsibility of filling Hazard’s void remains to be seen but at face value, Bailey seems like a strong candidate worth pursuing.