The Jamaican winger had an electric first full season at Die Werkself in 2017/18, plundering nine goals and six assists as the club narrowly missed out on UEFA Champions League qualification, finishing behind fourth-place Borussia Dortmund on goal difference alone.
One of Europe’s hottest properties having won Belgium’s Young Professional Footballer of the Year award in 2016, Bailey was chased by a number of clubs, but is satisfied his move to the BayArena was the right one.
Watch: Analysing the tactical menace that is Leon Bailey!
“Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool - a lot of clubs were interested,” the 21-year-old told FourFourTwo. “[But] you want to develop in the right environment; around the right minds and mentality.”
This season has been less kind to Leverkusen and Bailey thus far. Die Werkself come into their Matchday 11 clash with RB Leipzig in 13th, while Bailey has only scored once. The versatile wide man – who can operate on both flanks – has either shot or crossed every 14 minutes, though, and he thinks an upswing in form is just a matter of time.
“[Leverkusen] are a tremendous club with so much history,” he said. “A lot of good players have come from there; they can get into the Champions League and are always doing well. So why not them? It was the perfect move for me and I’m happy I made it.”