Journalist Dan Rolinson believes that Emiliano Buendia should be starting for Aston Villa under Steven Gerrard.
Buendia was signed by Dean Smith last summer but failed to nail down a consistent place in the starting XI at Villa Park, making just four league starts since mid-February.
Speaking on the Claret & Blue podcast, Rolinson spoke on the battle for game time between Coutinho and Buendia, delivering his verdict, saying: “Every time Buendia comes on and plays, I always think, ‘how is he not starting?’. So if you’re only gonna be playing one of them, it’s gonna be difficult who you pick.”
TIF Thoughts on Buendia…
We’d have to agree with that, too. Buendia, in his debut season last year, managed 10 goal contributions and often looked impressive. Of course, however, it is difficult to keep Philippe Coutinho out of the side given his calibre and experience.
Next season will be interesting to watch, though, with a close eye kept on the aforementioned battle between the two attacking midfielders. From Gerrard’s perspective, he will hope to see both players push each other on and improve.
As proven by his goal contributions, Buendia can clearly play an important role under Gerrard; he just needs the starting role to consistently prove it. If Gerrard can fit the South American duo into his plans, he could have one of the most underrated partnerships in the Premier League right now.
If Aston Villa want to reach their lofty ambitions, getting their best players singing from the same hymn sheet should be one of the main targets this summer. Coutinho and Buendia could well be the difference-makers if paired together. By picking one and leaving the other on the bench, you can’t help but think that Gerrard is wasting a potentially potent duo.
The strongest lineup will certainly be interesting next season at Villa Park.