Aston Villa latest news: Dean Smith 'needs to trust' his big-money star

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith looking into the distance

Journalist Luke Hatfield believes that Aston Villa manager Dean Smith needs to start playing Emiliano Buendia as a right winger to get the best out of him.

Buendia moved to Villa Park for £33m in the summer, but is yet to nail down a position in Smith's starting XI.

What's happening with Buendia?

The Argentine playmaker started Villa's first three games of the season, and got his first goal for the team against Brentford in late August.

He has not been named in the starting line-up for any of Villa's last four top-flight matches, though, as the side have switched to a 3-5-2 system, which does not appear to suit his qualities.



What has Hatfield said about Smith's handling of Buendia?

Hatfield has suggested that Smith ought to show more faith in the 24-year-old by tweaking his formation once more to allow Buendia to play on the right flank.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT about how Smith could help Buendia turn his fortunes around at Villa Park, The Express & Star journalist said: “I think Dean Smith probably needs to trust him in a 4-3-3 and put him on that right flank. But, of course, he’s got other players to deal with there and he’s got selection issues. How do you fit in Ings, Watkins, Buendia and Bailey when they’re all fit? That’s a tough question which is why Dean Smith is paid the money he is to manage Aston Villa.”

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What is Buendia's best position?

Hatfield appears to feel that he is at his best when on the right wing, and Buendia's statistics from last season indicate that he has a point.

Playing in the Championship for Norwich, Buendia featured exclusively on the right-hand side, and had his best campaign to date in terms of numbers. He scored 15 goals and 17 assists in 39 league appearances as Norwich secured promotion back to the top-flight and he won the Championship player of the season award.

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Since joining Villa, Smith has played Buendia in a variety of positions, using him on either wing, as an attacking midfielder, and even briefly as part of his front two.

Moving the attacker from role to role within the team cannot be helping him to settle in, so it seems that he now needs to decide on exactly how he wants to utilise him moving forwards.

The best solution seems to be giving him a run of games in his favoured position on the right, and allowing Buendia to build up some confidence, which could enable him to start delivering on his potential in a Villa shirt. 

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