Aston Villa team news: £33m star expected to start after summer transfer battle

Aston Villa's home ground, Villa Park

Aston Villa playmaker Emiliano Buendia is likely to start against Arsenal on Friday, according to journalist Luke Hatfield.

The 24-year-old was recalled to the starting line-up on the weekend against Wolves, and Hatfield expects Buendia to retain his place in the team at the Emirates.

How did Buendia fare against Wolves?

Having failed to start any of Villa’s previous four league games, Buendia got the nod to play from the beginning in the Midlands derby at Villa Park.

While he was unable to directly contribute to a goal, he did create two chances, and completed 90.3% of his attempted passes – no other Villa starter had a higher success percentage (via WhoScored).

When he was taken off after 74 minutes, Villa held a comfortable 2-0 win, but they collapsed in the final stages and slipped to a dramatic 3-2 defeat.



What has Hatfield said about Buendia?

After making his mark in his latest outing, Hatfield feels Dean Smith will pick Buendia in his starting XI once more against Arsenal, as Villa aim to avoid a third league defeat on the bounce.

He told GIVEMESPORT: “I’d be amazed if he was out of the side for the Arsenal game. I think he is beginning to settle in.”

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Could Arsenal have signed Buendia in the summer?

Buendia became Villa’s record signing when he joined the Villans for £33m in June, but he could have moved to one of their Premier League rivals.

After being directly involved in 32 goals in 39 Championship matches for Norwich last term, the Argentine attacker was linked with a summer switch to Arsenal. In the end, it came down to a two-way battle for his signature between Villa and Arsenal, and the former were the ones willing to pay the fee to get Buendia over to the Midlands.

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Aston Villa

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On Friday, he could get the chance to show the Gunners exactly what they’re missing. Buendia’s Villa career has hardly gone according to plan so far, as he has struggled to cement his place in the team.

However, his performance against Wolves suggested that he is starting to turn a corner, and his slow start may be forgotten about among the Villa faithful if he can help Smith’s men pick up all three points in north London. 

Read More – January Transfer Window 2022: When does it open, when does it close and which players are going to move?

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