Aston Villa have suffered a big setback after confirmation that Argentina duo Emi Martinez and Emi Buendia are set to miss games after the international break.
The Athletic revealed: “Argentina have confirmed they intend to keep their Premier League players for the entire international break — despite the quartet having to quarantine for 10 days on return.
“Premier League attempted to keep hold of their players who were going to be playing in red list countries due to concerns over quarantine. The current UK government rules state that anyone travelling into the country from a red list nation has to quarantine for 10 days at a government-approved hotel.
“There are no exemptions to this rule, and Argentina is a red-list country. As a result, Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia, and Tottenham’s Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso will have to spend 10 days isolating when they return to England after the international break.”
Speaking about Villa in particular, The Athletic confirmed the latest news was a major setback for them, noting: “Villa broke away from the Premier League-wide agreement and said they would release their Argentinian duo for the first two games.
“It meant they would miss Villa’s game against Chelsea on September 11 but then return to action for the match at Everton on September 19. Argentina have now gone against Villa’s public statement. Martinez and Buendia are key members of Dean Smith’s side and their absence for two games will be a blow.”
After the initial confirmation from Villa that they would give permission to the duo to join up with the Argentina squad for their first two games, it meant that the pair would only miss the match against Chelsea on September 11 before being available for the clash against Everton a week later.
However, Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni has confirmed that those players who were called up to his squad will remain for the entire allotment of three games, with their last match coming against Bolivia on September 10.
If Martinez and Buendia stay with Argentina until that match, and then have to spend ten days isolating, then not only would they absolutely miss the Chelsea and Everton clashes, but they would also be in serious doubt of missing the Carabao Cup clash against Thomas Tuchel’s side on September 22.
That’s not to mention that their training preparations will be affected, and Dean Smith will not be able to work with the pair. In Martinez’s case as a goalkeeper, that may not be too much of a concern, but for an attacking midfielder and new summer signing like in Buendia, that is something to worry Villa fans – in effect, the Manchester United game on September 25 may also be one too soon as well for the 24-year-old.
Whatever the case, reports that the duo now stand to miss at least two games (if not more) is sure to devastate Villa fans, who must make do without their first-choice goalkeeper and one of their star signings from the summer transfer window for longer than originally anticipated.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa must give this starlet a chance…