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Aston Villa’s Emi Buendia superb in pre-season win over Walsall

Talk about making an impression on your Aston Villa debut. Emi Buendia made his first appearance in a Villa shirt against Walsall on Wednesday night, and immediately showed why Dean Smith’s side were willing to shell big money for him.

Villa beat fellow Premier League side Arsenal to the signing of the Argentine earlier in the summer and got their first taste of what the little play-maker can do when he took to the field against Walsall.

And boy did he raise the excitement levels.

Where should Emi Buendia play?

No.10

No.10

Out wide

Out wide

The 24-year-old was superb in his time on the pitch, playing in between the lines to good effect and showing the kind of eye for a pass that saw him finish as the Championship’s top assist man with 16 last season.

On Twitter, The Birmingham Mail’s Ashley Preece was left raving about his performance, saying: “Emi Buendia had Villa fans drooling here at Walsall; the two balls in for Watkins were a delight.”

And, writing in his post-match player ratings, he added: “Two assists for Villa’s record signing and what a delight they both were. The Argentinian picks up some clever positions inside and, in doing so, he carved Walsall open on both occasions to feed Watkins who scored twice.

“Buendia can pick a pass all right and the prospect of the little magician linking up with Watkins and Jack Grealish this season is a frightening one. Buendia was brilliant and he’s already left fans wanting to see more.”

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Of course, it was only Walsall, a team that finished 19th in League Two last season, so it’s important to not get too carried away.

But, given it was his debut, and he had to get used to his new teammates, Buendia offered the kind of performance that will raise excitement about how he could team up with the likes of Watkins and Jack Grealish in the Premier League.

If Grealish does stay at Villa Park, then Smith must look to unleash both him and Buendia in behind Watkins and give the Villa striker the kind of ammunition that he could feed off week-in and week-out to good effect.

Meanwhile, Ashley Preece has revealed a new Aston Villa transfer target…

Article title: Aston Villa’s Emi Buendia superb in pre-season win over Walsall

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