Both players have been called into the Argentina national squad to represent their country in the current international break. Upon returning to England, each of them will likely have to self-isolate back in the UK for a 10-day period, having just travelled to a red-list country.
This means the Argentines look set to miss out on the club’s next Premier League game, which sees them travel to London to face Chelsea. Evans has claimed that the absence of one of these players in particular will be a ‘blow’ for Villa.
Talking on the 1874 podcast, Evans said: “I think missing both Emis for the Chelsea game will be a blow. Not so much Buendia, because players can come in and replace him, but I just think Emi Martinez at the back is a big presence, isn’t he?
“You want your best players in the team, and Martinez is certainly one of them.”
TIF Thoughts on Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez and Aston Villa…
It’s hard to argue with Evans’ assessment of the Argentina goalkeeper. Martinez signed for Villa last season, having just won the FA Cup with Arsenal. In his first season at Villa Park, he kept 15 clean sheets in 38 league appearances, while then going on to win the Copa America with his country over the summer.
Buendia, on the other hand, also looks like an exciting prospect. Having won promotion with Norwich City last season, the midfielder earned himself a £38m move to Villa in the summer. Last week, he scored his first goal for the club thanks to a fine strike against Brentford.
If Dean Smith is to be without either man for the club’s next game, it certainly won’t make the prospect of facing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge any more enticing.
Perhaps the Villa boss will have seen the match against the European champions as a free hit regardless, and felt that missing both players due to travel restrictions and protocols would not make too much of a difference.