Leon Bailey on target again for Aston Villa

August 02, 2022
Leon Bailey
Leon Bailey


Fired-up Reggae Boy Leon Bailey was Aston Villa's hero again as the English Premier League side rounded off their preseason campaign with an impressive 2-1 win over Rennes at a baking-hot Roazhon Park in France at the weekend.

It was the 24-year-old Jamaican winger's third goal of the summer with a volley past goalkeeper Steve Mandanda to equalise after 14 minutes.

Villa had gone a goal down after just seven minutes when Rennes' summer signing Arthur Theate was given a free run off Boubacar Kamara to rifle home from close range.

However, just seven minutes later, Bailey popped up once again, striking his effort via Lucas Digne's cross into the ground and in to equalise.

Steven Gerrard's men took the lead with a little less than 10 minutes remaining as substitute Ashley Young combined with Philippe Coutinho for a short corner with the former crossing for Diego Carlos, who headed home for 2-1.

The win was just the tonic for manager Steven Gerrard whose side open the new league campaign with an away game against promoted Bournemouth.

It followed their preseason trips to Australia and France in which Villa went unbeaten, including a come-from-behind 2-2 draw against top-flight rivals Manchester United.

Bailey, whose last campaign was dogged by injury after he moved from German club Bayer Leverkusen, said: "Nice to end preseason with another win. Happy to be on the scoresheet again. Looking forward to the Premier League now."

Bailey's Jamaica teammate Kemar Roofe, meanwhile, has been linked with a move from Scottish side Rangers to English League One club Sheffield Wednesday, where he is reportedly on an extensive shortlist of attacking options.

According to the Scottish Sun newspaper, Wednesday are keen to sign the 29-year-old striker on a season-long loan.

Derby County, another League One outfit, are also said to have shown an interest in the ex-Leeds United frontman.

United Kingdom-born Roofe, capped five times by the Reggae Boyz, was not on the bench for Rangers' 2-1 win at Livingston in Saturday's Scottish Premiership opener as he is still working his way back to fitness.

He scored 16 times for Rangers last season.

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