Aston Villa manager Unai Emery has replaced Steven Gerrard in the dugout and oversaw a superb 3-1 win over Manchester United in his first game in charge last weekend.
The arrival of the Spanish head coach has given every player at the club a clean slate and some of the underperforming, or even fringe, players could reinvent themselves in the coming weeks and months.
One gem who has the potential to benefit from this is attacking midfielder Emi Buendia, who has struggled to become a consistent starter since making a club-record £38m transfer from Norwich last year.
He arrived off the back of producing 15 goals and 16 assists in 39 Championship matches for the Canaries in the 2020/21 campaign but has only mustered five goals and six assists, whilst creating ten ‘big chances’, in 49 Premier League outings for the Villans.
However, the head coach could decide to dip into the market to bring in a better player in January if Buendia is unable to turn his form around.
One potential signing who could be an upgrade on the Argentine playmaker is Club Brugge attacking midfielder Noa Lang during the next transfer window.
Villa, along with fellow Premier League sides Leeds United and Everton, have been named as a potential suitor for the Netherlands international ahead of the second half of the campaign.
The 23-year-old has racked up eight goals and 14 assists, whilst creating 22 ‘big chances’, in 48 appearances in the Pro League since the start of last season. That came after he managed 16 goals and seven assists, creating 11 ‘big chances’, in the Belgian top flight during the 2020/21 campaign.
Lang, who talent scout Jacek Kulig previously described as “unstoppable“, has proven that he can assist his teammates with big opportunities in front of goal on a consistent basis, whilst chipping in with goals of his own.
Since the start of 2021/22, the Club Brugge attacker has been directly involved in 11 more goals and created 12 more ‘big chances’ than Buendia, who has played one more game than Lang in that period to date.
He has also showcased his quality in the Champions League with one goal and two assists in three starts during the group stages of this year’s competition, which indicates that he has what it takes to perform at the top level of club football.
Therefore, the Dutch wizard, who is also two years younger than the Villa winger, could be an upgrade on him as he has shown the potential to be more of a threat in the final third, both in terms of scoring and creating goals.