By Alex McLeish

5th Aug, 2021 | 5:00pm

McLeish: Aston Villa have signed their own 'Sadio Mane' after intriguing Smith claim

Alex McLeish has suggested Aston Villa have signed their own Sadio Mane in the shape of Leon Bailey.

The former Villa boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 23-year-old’s versatility would make him a “great signing” for Dean Smith.

Villa confirmed they had sealed Bailey’s capture from Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday (August 4th).

Intriguingly, Smith claimed the Jamaica international is a “hugely exciting young striker” after his signing was announced.

Bailey has primarily featured as a winger for both club and country.

He only played as a centre-forward four times in 40 appearances for Leverkusen last term.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

McLeish suggested Villa could take a leaf out of Liverpool’s book and play with three interchangeable attackers.

“I was just going to mention the Liverpool front three,” McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

“Sadio Mane comes in and can play as a striker, no bother. He can play on either flank as well.

“It’s a real joy to watch those three intertwining in terms of possessions but being very rigid, discipline-wise, against the ball.

“There’s definitely massive scope there and, for me, he will be a great signing.”

Bailey scored 15 goals and contributed 11 assists for Leverkusen across all competitions last term.

He also has nine caps for Jamaica under his belt.

Villa have also added Emi Buendia and Danny Ings to their attacking ranks this summer.

They join the likes of Ollie Watkins, Anwar El Ghazi, Bertrand Traore and Trezeguet in the forward positions.

In other news, McLeish has revealed how Jack Grealish nearly quit Aston Villa for £100,000 amid mega-money reveal.