Bailey’s Stunner Reminds Jamaica What They Need
Touch of genius from Kingston-born whizzy winger
Leon Bailey showed Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz exactly what they are missing by producing a sensational 20-yard strike for Bayer Leverkusen in their 2-0 German League success against Mainz.
The Kingston-born winger notched his eighth goal in the Bundesliga in style, and remains being tracked by Premiership giants Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United although Spanish big shots are monitoring the 20-year-old too.
His left-footed stunner across the face of goal gave the keeper no chance for a 48th-minute lead.
Bailey picked up the ball on the right wing, glided inside with a seemingly effortless touch before unleashing a curling drive that perfectly looped over stunned Zentner and into the top corner.
The Boyz were missing someone of Bailey’s top quality, a product of the Kingston-based Phoenix All Stars Academy, but paraded a youthful line-up in their 1-1 draw against Romanian top-tier team CS Gaz in Antalya, Turkey on Saturday.
The friendly, used to encourage European scouts to check out the talents of Jamaica’s youthful rising stars, saw Portmore United’s Maalique Foster put the visitors ahead on 17 minutes. Sirghi Bogdan levelled midway through the second half. But it was Amal Knight’s 84th-minute spot-kick save that was the talking point, and spared the Boyz any embarrassment
Whizzy winger Bailey would have been a fantastic addition to the Boyz squad, who tackle World Cup-bound South Korea on Tuesday (6 am kick-off on Tuesday, Jamaican time).
Bailey, whose father and agent Craig Butler, turned down both a chance for Bailey to win his first senior international cap as well as a bid from Chelsea this month. And both teams could have done with his scoring boots, especially as Bailey followed up last weekend’s audacious back-heeled strike against Hoffenhelm with another eye-catching goal on Sunday.
Bayer Leverkusen paid Belgian outfit Genk €13.5m for Bailey just 12 months ago, but he is a valuable commodity and worth at least double that for Europe’s elite clubs.
The German side, on the advice of Butler, have ruled out selling their young star in January’s lucrative transfer window, and the Jamaican ace remains under contract until June 2022.
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