Leon Bailey and Emi Buendia in, but will Jack Grealish stay or go? How Aston Villa could line up this season

It looks set to be an exciting Premier League season for Aston Villa – who just confirmed a deal to sign Leon Bailey from Bayer Leverkusen.

After surviving relegation on the final day of the 2019/20 campaign, Dean Smith’s side finished 11th last term – a much improved campaign.

Jack Grealish was key for Aston Villa last season but could be off this summer

Villa’s ambitious owners seem determined to build on that if their summer transfer window is anything to go by.

They have already signed Emi Buendia for a club-record £33million fee and the price tag for Bailey is expected to be similar.

Villa also had two big bids, believed to be in the region of £30m, for Emile Smith Rowe rejected by Arsenal before they tied him down to a new deal.

Yesterday, an offer for Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse was turned down and Villa continue to chase Borunemonth’s Arnut Danjuma.

Buendia scored 15 goals and registered 16 assists in the Championship last season

A sceptic would be forgiven for thinking Villa are chasing these big-money signings to replace Man City target Grealish.

The Aston Villa has been heavily linked with a £100m move to Pep Guardiola’s side this summer.

While losing Grealish would be a huge blow, an attacking trio of Bailey, Danjuma and Buendia playing behind Ollie Watkins would not be a bad alternative.

Danjuma scored 17 goals for Bournemouth in the Championship last season, so could be the closest player to Watkins but all three are capable of swapping roles.

Could Aston Villa line up like this without Grealish?

However, if Villa were to keep Grealish and also land their transfer targets, a top-six push could be on the cards.

The 25-year-old, who registered 10 Premier League assists last season, played in a No.10 role in England’s 1-0 win over Czech Republic in the Euro 2020 group stages.

In that game, Grealish’s inviting cross was headed in by Raheem Sterling for the only goal of the game as the former looked impressive in that advanced role.

Bailey is the latest attacking star to be linked to Villa
Getty – Pool


It could lead to Smith playing Grealish in attacking midfield with Bailey and Buendia either side of him.

With Bailey’s pace and lethal finishing, Grealish’s trickery and Buendia’s creativity, it could lead to goals galore for Villa.

Grealish could lead Aston Villa into Europe if he stays