Former West Ham United midfielder Don Hutchison feels the Hammers only have themselves to blame for missing out on winger Leon Bailey.
Bailey, 23, is on the cusp on signing for Aston Villa. The Jamaica international is a likely replacement for Jack Grealish should the England man complete a mega-bucks switch to Manchester City. He has been at Bayer Leverkusen for more than four years after moving to the Bundesliga from Genk in January 2017.
And it has been a successful spell for Bailey at BayArena on a personal level. The speedy wide man has scored 39 goals in all competitions, with 28 coming in the Bundesliga.
But the Kingston-born ace is also a provider, with 22 assists – eight coming in 2020-2021. He will certainly be a player who could light up Villa Park if he arrives.
Multiple reports claim he will move to the West Midlands this week, with Villa paying £30m for his services. Other clubs have been linked during the off-season.
Leicester Wolves, Southampton and Everton have all been mentioned as possible suitors. West Ham are known to be targeting attacking players.
However, the East End outfit do not seem in the race for Bailey. But Hutchison is adamant he could already be on their books if they had listened to him.
“Told West Ham about his guy three years ago,” he tweeted.
That was in response to Fabrizio Romano’s tweet about the Villans offering him a five-year deal.
Arteta had doubts over Bailey
Arsenal have also been credited with an interest in the Caribbean ace. It was thought they were at the front of the queue for his signature.
But it recently emerged that Gunners chief Mikel Arteta had doubts over the player’s attitude, as per Football Insider. Whether that was the case is open to debate but he is set to arrive in the West Midlands.
The Daily Mail reported on Monday that Bailey underwent a medical in Miami on Sunday evening. That will pave the way for the man with 10 Jamaica caps to make his way to Villa Park.
Dean Smith is hoping to build on last season’s encouraging displays. They finished in 11th spot but were never able to sustain a serious threat to qualify for Europe.
But with Emiliano Buendia on board and others expected to follow, there is optimism of another decent showing in 2021-2022.