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Aston Villa must now unleash “magical” Buendia

Emi Buendia is seemingly vacillating between substandard and superlative at Aston Villa, failing to truly live up to the expectations thus far, but one journalist believes that the Argentine is motivated to forge his way into Unai Emery’s long-term vision.

Having signed for Villa from Norwich City in a club-record £38m deal last summer, the 25-year-old has not quite lived up to the hefty tag, and despite impressing his with dribbling and grace on the ball, must improve if he is to earn a regular spot in Emery’s ambitious plans.

Recently speaking to GIVEMESPORT, transfer specialist Dean Jones shed some light on the ace’s future with the Claret and Blue, stating that despite concerns over his performances, a departure from the club does not imminently lurk around the corner.

He said: “Buendia, he figured pretty strongly, to be fair, for Villa in the month leading into the World Cup. I’m told he’s still very motivated to produce, particularly under Emery, so I don’t think he’ll be heading out the exit door.”

“Magical”

Having made 54 appearances for his side since his switch from the Canaries last year, Buendia has only mustered five goals and seven assists, playing a total of 2,844 minutes – averaging a direct contribution every 237 minutes.

And this term, the one-cap ace, who did not make his nation’s triumphant World Cup squad, scored just one goal and assist apiece from 17 outings, albeit with just seven starts. 

That being said, increments have been made under Emery’s watchful eye, with the maestro earning a starting spot across all four of Villa’s previous league matches, playing a part as the side clinched three victories and just one defeat. 

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The signs are there; at Norwich, during the 20/21 Championship season, the “magical” gem, as dubbed by Jack Reeve, recorded an average rating of 7.68, scoring 15 goals and serving 16 assists as his side etched a resounding return to the Premier League into the history books, with Buendia earning the division’s Player of the Year award. 

Should Emery manage to unlock the potential brimming within this deft phenom, Aston Villa might just witness the rebirth of Jack Grealish, a coveted figure at the club.

Grealish, having risen up the Villa ranks to become the side’s captain and talisman, earned a British record £100m transfer to league champions Manchester City last year, and the club have been lacking a figure of his mould ever since. 

Buendia holds the toolkit, can channel the energy that can lift the club to prosperous fortunes, playing a vital role in the ascension; the cogs just need to fall into place. 

While the 27-year-old England international wields superiority in his dribbling skills, Buendia’s natural poise and ball-playing prowess can provide his club with a similar level of success, with FBref ranking him within the top 9% of attacking midfielders for progressive passes across Europe’s major leagues and in the top 18% for fouls drawn, an area Grealish is famous for thriving in.

There was weighted investment on this player, and football has seen, time and time again, that a player sinking below expectations can rise from the chasm that the sport can beset one with and rekindle their ability; Emery would be wise to assist this rebirth.