Leon Bailey, one of the most talked about rising stars in the German Bundesliga, failed to live up to the high expectations on his young shoulders as his Bayer Leverkusen side were beaten 4-2 at home by Bayern Munich on Saturday (6 June).
The Jamaican international made just his second start in five games since the German top tier resumed last month, following the coronavirus pandemic, and as he was largely ineffective was replaced at half-time by head coach Peter Bosz.
Bosz, previously with Borussia Dortmund until arriving at Leverkusen midway through last season, inherited an array of future top talent within his squad that includes Kai Havertz and Bailey. But his star man Havertz missed out tackling Bayern because of a muscle injury, with Bailey handed the opportunity to be Bosz’ standout player.
When Leverkusen faced Bayern last November it was 22-year-old Bailey who was unquestionably the man of the moment,with a brilliant first-half brace to defeat the reigning champions on their own turf. He rocketed in an unstoppable shot to beat diving talismanic keeper Manuel Neuer, and following Thomas Muller’s equaliser Bailey repeated the feat with a spectacular left-footed thunderbolt.
But there was no encore from Bailey, who had been in fine form before the coronavirus brought the season to a standstill, as Munich marched towards an eighth Bundesliga title on the bounce with a comprehensive victory.
The Jamaican, who turned down Chelsea a couple of seasons ago and is now allegedly linked with a clutch of other English Premier League clubs, was virtually anonymous during the opening half when Munich eased into a 3-1 lead. The only excitement for any Jamaican fans tuning into the showpiece game of the day was the fact that the contest was the first to be aired with simulated crowd noise during play, and with a burst of music each time a goal was scored.
Bailey had a public outburst at the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) last month, his niggling fitness issues from last season spilled over into the autumn before he ignited this term with fantastic goals in the domestic league and the Europa League and he is playing second fiddle to Havertz.
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