Aston Villa could wave goodbye to a hugely disappointing Ross Barkley this summer by signing Norwich City star Emiliano Buendia.
The man on loan from Chelsea has endured a poor campaign at Villa Park, scoring just three goals in 21 Premier League games and only providing the one assist. All but one of those contributions came prior to the November international break.
Reports in recent days have suggested that Dean Smith’s side have made the decision not to sign him on a permanent basis this summer, and it’s no surprise given the below-par displays he has put in this season.
Speaking after he was substituted in the second half against Leicester last month, Sky Sports pundit Alex Scott slammed the 27-year-old’s performance, saying: “For me it’s another missed opportunity for Ross Barkley to show up and demand, he’s been subbed off again and you can see in his face he’s not happy. But how many chances does a player need?
“You need to take it upon yourself. There’s only so many chances that he can be deserving. He’s missed another opportunity today.”
If Barkley leaves as expected, then Villa should be looking at none other than Buendia – a player who Lee Hendrie has insisted would be near the top of his summer shopping list.
The former Villa ace told This Is Futbol: “I think a big club will definitely try and take him. I know you can say he’s done it in the Championship, but you could say that about (Said) Benrahma, you could say that about Ollie Watkins.
“I feel that Buendia, I mean we’ve seen him in a very good Norwich side in the Championship, I feel in a Villa side… wow. If I could say or had a big say in bringing players in, he’s the one on top of my list that I would bring into Aston Villa.”
The £19.8m-rated playmaker has been dubbed a “revelation” by Chris Sutton and has enjoyed a stellar season at Carrow Road, scoring an incredible 12 goals and providing a further 16 assists. Buendia’s contributions have fired Norwich to the brink of Premier League promotion, currently sat top of the Championship table.
Given Barkley’s virtually nonexistent end product this season – a total of four goals and assists in the Premier League is a shocking return – bringing in Buendia would allow Smith to wave goodbye to the on-loan liability.