Emiliano Buendia signed for Aston Villa from Norwich over the summer in a deal said to be worth around £35million.
Since then the Argentinian has really struggled to settle in at Villa Park. His contribution of one goal and one assist in nine appearances isn’t good enough but does that tell the true story?
Former Villa striker, Gabriel Agbonlahor has called out Buendia as an imposter and stated he shouldn’t be starting.
“Buendia, for me, doesn’t deserve to be starting,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider.
“If anyone deserves to be dropped, it’s him.
“He scored one good goal against Brentford, he’s done nothing else.
“I really want to single out Buendia, he’s got to do a lot more. I see him throwing his hands up in the air, not running around, not creating anything, not running with the ball.
“This is not the Buendia that Aston Villa saw play for Norwich, this is an impostor. He’s not doing anything that he was doing at Norwich.
“When you’ve been brought in for over £30million, you’ve got to show it. Dean Smith has brought him in, showed faith in him, keeps playing him. If he starts on Friday he has to put a performance in.
“He needs to take a look at Jack Grealish’s performances at Aston Villa, he’s been brought in as his replacement and he’s not done it yet.
“Right-wing is not the position for him. He’s got to do a lot more.
“He’s quick to post on his social media before games ‘Come on today’. Then he does nothing on the pitch. Aston Villa fans will want to see a lot more from him.”
Unfair on Buendia?
I have heard different views on Buendia, in particular where Smith plays him on a matchday. In four of his six starts in the Premier League, he has started as an attacking centre midfielder and if you speak to Norwich fans, who adored the little Argentinean, they will all tell you that he is better out wide than he is through the middle.
Despite this and maybe this is where the bigger problem is for Aston Villa, he averages 1.4 key passes a game when he is on the pitch. Only Douglas Luiz averages more (1.6). Are Villa creating enough?
They have scored 14 goals so far this season, with only 8 other teams scoring more than them.
Villa’s problem is defence. Of course, we would prefer more goals but it isn’t a major worry. We concede too many goals with only Norwich and Newcastle concerning more. Our midfield seems more often non-existent, even more so when Luiz is missing.
I do believe we should be looking to give Buendia more game time in his natural position, out on the right. It’s the position that earned him a call up for his national side after all.