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Aston Villa: Dean Smith must drop Emi Buendia v Southampton

With Aston Villa desperately hoping to end their woeful run of form tonight against Southampton in the Premier League, Dean Smith could make a bold yet ruthless call to drop Emi Buendia from the starting line-up.

The Villans have lost their last four games in the top flight and could do with some fresh energy and ideas – something that Buendia hasn’t exactly brought to the table since his summer arrival from Norwich City.

The £31.5m-rated Argentine has managed just one goal and one assist in nine games for his new club, and against Arsenal a couple of weeks ago, he arguably produced his worst display of the campaign.

Should Buendia be dropped?

Yes!

Yes!

No!

No!

Starting in the number ten role just behind Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings, the 24-year-old struggled to really get into the game, and that was evidenced by the fact that he had fewer touches (49) and passes (24) than goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez (50 and 30 respectively).

He also completed just one of his three attempted dribbles and lost possession 14 times over the course of the game – the joint-third most of any Villa player.

It was no surprise that the Birmingham Mail’s Ashley Preece slammed him as “lightweight” for his performance, before adding: “Physically miles off the pace here. There was no bright spark this week as Arsenal simply had his number. Gave balls away too cheaply and was, like most, found wanting.”

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Speaking earlier this week, former Villa defender Alan Hutton admitted that Buendia has been struggling in recent weeks and discussed what could be done to get the best out of him.

He said: “He’s struggled but you need to remember he’s come into a new team. It’s a new system with new players all about him. It does take time to settle. We’re 10 games in, I still think it’s very early in terms of the league and positions at the moment.

“The thing with Buendia coming in, you’re paying a lot of money for him. Expectations are high. You have lost Jack Grealish and you are looking for the next guy. Who’s going to come and take that mantle on and run with it?”

With Villa in a bad run of form at the moment, taking Buendia out of the firing line could give Smith’s side some fresh impetus tonight against Southampton.

Meanwhile, Villa could sign a dream Buendia alternative in this star…

Article title: Aston Villa: Dean Smith must drop Emi Buendia v Southampton

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