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Leon Bailey reveals Steven Gerrard showdown talks prevented him from leaving Aston Villa

Aston Villa winger Leon Bailey has revealed how showdown talks with former manager Steven Gerrard prevented him from leaving the club in the summer.


              
File photo dated 23-04-2022 of Aston Villa's Leon Bailey who wants the brilliant display in the 4-0 win over Brentford to be the standard going forward as they aim to climb the Premier League. Issue date: Monday October 22, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Villa. Photo credit should read Mike Egerton/PA Wire.
File photo dated 23-04-2022 of Aston Villa's Leon Bailey who wants the brilliant display in the 4-0 win over Brentford to be the standard going forward as they aim to climb the Premier League. Issue date: Monday October 22, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Villa. Photo credit should read Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

Bailey, 25, made just seven Premier League starts last season - with his lack of involvement prompting his step father and agent, Craig Butler, to speak out.

However, this season Bailey has been one of Villa's top performers, bagging four goals in 16 appearances despite the club's tough start to the campaign.

Speaking on the latest episode of the Let's Be Honest podcast, Bailey revealed how, after hamstring, thigh and ankle injuries last term, he was linked with a move to Ajax.

However, showdown talks with Gerrard led to the winger staying and proving people wrong.

He said: "You know something, I could have left Aston Villa! Even after that bad season, I could have left for a bigger club but you know what it’s me that said I wanted to stay! I’m going to stay a long time because I want to make a show of them that called me an idiot. I’m going to show what I’m really capable of.

"Sometimes there’s unfortunate situations but that’s what built me and built me as a person. I like challenges. This year, I’m doing my thing! Now look.

"My mindset is the same going into each season, to remain injury-free, continue working hard and, with this new coach, top coach, I only see up from there. I will continue to dominate but my main focus - the only thing I see holding me back - is injury. My main focus is working hard and making sure I stay injury-free.”

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