Aston Villa’s owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens are questioning Christian Purslow over the controversy surrounding Emi Martinez and Emi Buendia.
The duo were involved in the truly farcical scenes during Argentina’s clash against Brazil, when health officials stepped onto the field to stop the match amid suggestions that four players – including the Villa pair – needed to isolate after travelling in from the UK.
Since then, both Martinez and Buendia have been released by Argentina and have headed to Croatia for 10 days to UK hotel quarantine, and Football Insider have now claimed that NSWE are furious with Purslow over the consequence that the duo will miss the Premier League game against Chelsea at the weekend.
The report stated: “They are said to have questioned Purslow as to why more was not done to stop them heading to Brazil with the Argentina national team for a World Cup qualifier that was subsequently suspended.
“Some in the Villa hierarchy believe Martinez and Buendia could have come under more pressure from the club to stay in England rather than fly to Sao Paolo.”
Make no mistake about it, while NSWE and Purslow might be having a bit of a heated discussion behind the scenes, it’s Dean Smith who will be the angriest out of the lot.
The Villa manager will head into this weekend’s game against the reigning European champions without his number one goalkeeper and one of his marquee summer signings.
Buendia has gotten his Villa career off to a fine start, netting in the last Premier League against Brentford, and Smith would no doubt have been hoping for him to kick on from that.
In Martinez, the Midlands club will be without one of the Premier League’s elite shot-stoppers, a man who finished third in the top-flight’s Golden Glove awards after keeping an impressive 15 clean sheets in his debut season at Villa Park.
That will likely mean that second-choice Jed Steer will come in, and for a player who has hardly played at all, to be coming up against a side like Chelsea could be a recipe for disaster.
While the owners might be furious that both Martinez and Buendia will miss the game against Thomas Tuchel’s side, it’s Smith who may well have the biggest gripe.
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