Aston Villa

Aston Villa: Holly Percival claims Steven Gerrard may drop Emi Buendia

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The Athletic journalist Holly Percival has stated that ‘frustrated’ Aston Villa man Emi Buendia may be dropped if he can’t improve his form at Villa Park.

During the past summer, the Villans paid Norwich City a club-record fee of £33m for the midfielder. Since then, however, things have not gone so well for Buendia, as he has underwhelmed, claiming just one goal in 11 appearances.

While the Argentine has struggled, so have his new club. In the end, this lack of consistency cost Dean Smith his job. With Steven Gerrard now instated as Villa’s new boss, Buendia may have a fresh start.

Unfortunately for him, he did not show any signs of a big improvement in his manager’s first game over the weekend – the 24-year-old was subbed off after 74 minutes with the scores still level against Brighton & Hove Albion.

This led Percival to say she doesn’t expect to ‘see him continue’ starting in the team for much longer. 

While talking on the 1874 podcast, she said: “I’m hoping that he can kind of become more settled technically in providing attacking options. Otherwise, I’m going to struggle to see him continue to stay in the starting XI.

“He was obviously frustrated after the game, punching his seat. So he obviously wants to do well and he wants to succeed at Villa Park.

“But, like you said, maybe he does need a little bit more time to kind of settle in and offer more up front.”

TIF Thoughts on Emi Buendia and Aston Villa…

Buendia certainly arrived with high expectations. Last season, while helping Norwich City gain promotion, he scored 15 goals and registered a further 16 assists – creating more chances than any other player in the Championship (via The Athletic).

Will Steven Gerrard make any signings in January?

Yes

Yes

No

No

This form certainly seemed to justify his price tag, but things just haven’t clicked for the 24-year-old as of yet. This had led to plenty of talk about what is going wrong for the midfielder.

Being the new manager in charge, Gerrard may want to set high standards at the club and make an example of Buendia if his form isn’t good.

With the likes of Leon Bailey, Bertrand Traore, Anwar El Ghazi and others waiting in the wings, it’s not as if Villa don’t have any alternative options, either.

In other news: “The issue for Villa is…” – Journalist highlights problem NSWE could face with Gerrard at AVFC

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