Bailey nets brace, attracts interest from Arsenal

December 18, 2017
Leverkusen's Leon Bailey (right) celebrates a goal with teammate Karim Bellarabi during the German Bundesliga match between Hannover 96 and Bayer Leverkusen in Hannover, Germany, yesterday. The game ended 4-4.

Leon Bailey's stock as one of Europe's best young attacker continues to rise after he came on as a second-half substitute and netted a brace to earn Bayer Leverkusen an exciting 4-4 draw with Hannover in the Bundesliga yesterday.

However, the Phoenix Academy graduate, was left a bit disappointed after missing a glorious opportunity to grab his hattrick and seal the win for his team.

"I had a third chance and I just know if I had taken that chance it would have been over for them. It's just unlucky. But that's football," said Bailey. "A wise man learns from his mistakes. But a wiser man learns from others' mistakes,": he added.

 

HALF-TIME SUB

 

Bailey entered the fray after the break with Bayer trailing 2-3. Julian Brandt had earlier put the visiting Leverkusen ahead after 11 minutes, only to see Ihlas Bebou equalise almost immediately.

Niclas Fuellkrug then fired the home side into the lead from the spot but Leverkusen hit back soon after through a Admir Mehmedi strike. Hanover again went ahead just before half-time when Klaus shot them back into the lead.

Bailey then entered the fray and after just two minutes made it 3-3 when he broke away on the left wing and fired past Philipp Tschauner. He then struck again 20 minutes later to make it 4-3 when he drilled one into the far corner after a devastating counter-attack.

 

SLOPPY DEFENDING

 

But Bailey had a great chance to finish off the host when he got loose inside the box but steered his effort wide from 12 yards out with goalkeeper Tschauner at his mercy.

Seven minutes from time Leverkusen were made to rue that chance when Korb scored after some sloppy defending to tie the game 4-4. Leverkusen moved up to fourth in the Bundesliga, level on 28 points with fifth-placed RB Leipzig.

Meanwhile, reports are that Arsenal have joined the race and will tussle with London rivals Chelsea for the signature of the 20 year-old's signature, who has also reportedly attracted interest from Italy and Spain.

Arsenal are said to be looking to offer £15 million, less than the £22 million that Chelsea have tabled and way below Leverkusen's 50 million valuation.

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