"Leon Bailey is getting better every game" - Bayer Leverkusen head coach Peter Bosz
Bayer Leverkusen head coach Peter Bosz has praised Jamaican winger Leon Bailey for his recent performances, which are seeing him “get better every game” according to the Dutch tactician.
Bailey burst onto the Bundesliga scene in 2017/18 season, the now 23-year-old hitting nine goals and providing six assists in his first full season with Leverkusen. A pair of five-goal campaigns followed in the next two, but Bailey's progress was slowed this term after having to quarantine for two weeks following a trip home to Jamaica in the summer.
Now, the versatile winger is showing Leverkusen fans, and, perhaps most importantly, head coach Bosz, what he is capable of. Die Werkself have shot up to fourth in the table after two wins on the bounce - following draws in their first three outings of the season - coinciding with Bailey's first two starts of the season in which he provided assists in victories over Mainz and Augsburg.
Watch: Bailey's Bundesliga mixtape!
"Leon had it very hard, last year and early this season," Bosz said after his side's 3-1 win over Augsburg last Monday, in which Bailey set-up Moussa Diaby's goal late on. "But I see that he gets better with every game - physically, but also in terms of his football."
Bosz spoke at the start of the season about planning his squad with Bailey firmly in it. Leverkusen saw key attacking players leave with Kai Havertz and Kevin Volland departing for Chelsea and Monaco respectively, putting pressure on those still at the club to step up and fill the void left by the German pair.
Alongside the goals of Lucas Alario and Diaby, Bailey has proven to Bosz in the early stages of this new season that he can be trusted to play a big role in the Leverkusen attack for the season to come. The Jamaican also provided two assists in his side's recent 6-2 rout of French Ligue 1 side Nice in the UEFA Europa League, one of which struck a chord with the former Borussia Dortmund coach.
"When you see how much he runs, but also how much he sprints and his football playing quality, that's always going up," Bosz added.
"In the last game against Nice, the first goal he set-up for Nadiem Amiri was really great. And he played well today [vs. Augsburg] too. He improves every game."
Bailey, Diaby and Leverkusen's wing wonders
bundesliga.com looks at whether Bayer Leverkusen have quietly assembled the league’s best stable of wingers.
Leon Bailey: "I want to entertain like Ronaldinho did"
Leverkusen's Leon Bailey sits down with bundesliga.com to discuss his form in 2020/21, wanting to entertain audiences like Ronaldinho and much more...
Leon Bailey 2020/21: the best yet?
The Jamaican winger has hit higher notes than ever before this season - bundesliga.com explains why...