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Football Whispers
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Bayer Leverkusen's Leon Bailey wary of making next move too soon

Leon Bailey
Leon Bailey has 11 goals and nine assists in 23 matches.

Leon Bailey has said Bayer Leverkusen are the "perfect" club for him and is wary of taking the next step in his career too soon.

Bailey, 20, moved to Leverkusen from Genk last January and his form has seen him linked with a move to the Premier League, with clubs including Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United reported to be interested.

But he told Sport Bild: "I am young, and I've seen too many young players make a too big step too early, and they failed. I believe Leverkusen are perfect for me."

Citing the club's tradition of developing youngsters including Toni Kroos, Arturo Vidal and Son Heung-Min, Bailey added: "Many players have profited from their time at Leverkusen. I want to continue my development and take the next step one day.

"If I move to a big European club, the people there should already be aware of me. Before, I want to make a name for myself at the highest level."

Earlier this week, reports said Jamaica-born Bailey could be eligible to represent England at the World Cup.

Recalling that he had looked up to Bayern Munich's Netherlands winger Arjen Robben, Bailey said: "When I was a kid, we had a World Cup poster with Arjen Robben in our house. It's crazy to play against that man now, who once was a poster on our wall.

"My mum often tells me that Robben's time is nearly over. She says: 'Show the world that you can do it. Maybe you will be a poster on the wall of Robben's kids one day.'"

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.

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