Leon’s father and agent Billy Craig Butler has revealed that the Jamaica winger is humbled by his connections with Dutch side Ajax.
The 25-year-old has started just two of Aston Villa’s five games so far this season as Steven Gerrard called him up from the bench for 12 minutes as Villa lost 1-0 to West Ham on Sunday.
With Pele not part of Gerrard’s preferred tactical system, a move to Ajax has been rumored to, with Butler confirming the links and telling Football Transfers that a move to the Dutch champions could be on the cards if things don’t change at Villa Park.
“Billy is one of the best wings in the world”
Butler has big plans for his client, who joined Aston Villa for £30m in 2021.
“I think Leon Bailey is one of the best wingers in the world, and he has the potential to become one of the top five players in the world, within the next two years max,” Bailey said. Football Transfers.
“He plays football first for his love of the game and has great ambition, and the support of the fans is important to him and me. It is my responsibility to ensure that I do everything in my power to keep him on the field, so he can achieve those goals.
“We are no strangers to Ajax and we greatly respect the club and its commitment to total football. We also made a commitment to Aston Villa and they are ours, and that commitment depends on Lyon achieving its goals and getting playing time, to realize its potential and deliver it to Aston Villa.”
Leon Bailey is always good for a trick or a trick 🍬 pic.twitter.com/Zliv0SUDsZ
– English Premier League (Bundesliga_EN) March 29, 2021
Aston Villa frustration
Butler admits that Gerrard’s current approach makes progression difficult for Bailey, with both the agent and player believing the 17-times Jamaica international is too good to sit on the bench at any club.
Butler continued: “The system at Aston Villa currently does not use the wings, which puts Lyon in a difficult position and threatens to spoil his personal goals and objectives.”
“We are very interested in loyalty in our academy, and we also know that loyalty goes both ways. Many great players have come out of Ajax like Zlatan. [Ibrahimovic] and many others, and we are humbled by the interest they have shown and the confidence they have shown in his ability. This remains an important trait in any club for any player who wants to achieve high goals.
“At this time, no one would be happy about not being able to contribute so much to their club’s victories, but more so when the club doesn’t win. So while that is my opinion and I love and respect a historically great club like Villa, I am not happy about the sidelines of the performing Lyon. High and fit. If things don’t change drastically, Ajax may be an option.”
The relationship with Ajax already exists
Butler also noted that Pele’s close history with Ajax could improve the chances of any potential transfer, as well as the links between his football academy in Jamaica and the Dutch club.
He admitted that neither the agent nor the player had given up on Bailey’s chances of becoming a key player for Aston Villa, but he knows that such a role is impossible if the winger remains on the bench.
“We have been friends with Ajax since Lyon was 14, have visited the club several times and even trained there on many occasions,” Butler explained.
“They also sent coaches to Jamaica to the academy, who along with Genk’s philosophy have helped shape our development model.
“Aston Villa have some work to do but we moved to the club for a reason and haven’t given up on the club yet, but things have to change. The player who wins the Belgian Player of the Year, makes the European Team of the Year, achieves the goal of the season, and becomes The new-season Bundesliga player on the bench now in England? I don’t think so.”