According to a report by the Daily Express, Liverpool are eyeing a summer swoop for Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey.
At 20 years of age, the youngster has earned rave reviews for his performances in the Bundesliga and with the transfer window now up and running, he is being eyed by several clubs. And now, the Reds appear to have entered the fray with the report claiming that their arch-rivals Manchester United are also keen on acquiring his signature.
Although Liverpool have the likes of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah in their ranks, the Reds lack depth in the wide areas up front. The Merseyside giants need a prolific backup if they are to challenge on all fronts next season.
Of course, Bailey is far too talented to merely play second fiddle but having him in the squad will provide Jurgen Klopp with more options.
But is the young speedster good enough for Liverpool? Let’s compare his stats to one of the most prolific wingers in the premier league Sadio Mane’s.
Sadio Mane vs Leon Bailey stats
In 42 appearances for Liverpool across all competitions last season, Mane managed to find the back of the net 20 times and provide 8 assists. He averaged 2.5 shots per game, while his pass success rate stood at 79.5%. In addition to that, Mane is known for averaging 1.4 key passes per game. And as per Squawka, Mane created 45 chances in 29 Premier League appearances for Klopp’s team in the 2017/18 campaign.
As far as Bailey is concerned, the youngster appeared 34 times in all competitions for Leverkusen last season, scoring 12 goals and setting up six more. Quite like Mane, Bailey averaged 2.5 shots per game, while his pass success rate was at 75%. He further contributed with an average of 2 key passes per game, and when it comes to creating chances, the Jamaican is again more or less at par with Mane, having created 49 chances in 27 Bundesliga appearances last term.
If Liverpool are merely looking for a backup option, they must forget Bailey and look elsewhere. From what we have seen, the 20-year-old’s skills are good enough to make him stand toe-to-toe against a player of Mane’s caliber and that is impressive, to say the least. The Reds need to offer him regular first team action if they want to lure him to Anfield in the summer.