Journalist Luke Hatfield described Emiliano Buendia as the "heartbeat" of the Aston Villa side against Wolves last weekend - and reckons the Argentine produced his best performance of the season.
It's been a tricky opening few months for Buendia since making the club-record switch from Norwich in the summer, but he made his first start since August in the Midlands derby and marked his return to the XI with an excellent display, according to Hatfield.
What did the stats say?
Having missed games due to his exploits with Argentina, Buendia lost his place in the side and prior to the game against Wolves, the 24-year-old had played just 33 minutes across Villa's last four league fixtures.
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However, following the poor performance against Tottenham before the international break, Smith opted to change his starting line-up and handed a first start to Buendia since the draw with Brentford back in August.
And Buendia repaid the faith shown in him by Smith, turning out his second best showing of the season, according to WhoScored.
Only during his goalscoring, man-of-the-match display against the Bees did he come away with a better rating than the 7.14 score he was given against Wolves.
Buendia had the best passing success rate (90 percent) from any player that started the game at Villa Park, and whilst he didn't directly contribute to either of the goals, he misplaced just three of his attempted passes and created two chances for his teammates.
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You could argue that his absence cost Smith's side the game. When Buendia was substituted with 16 minutes left, Villa were in cruise control and looked on course to get back to winning ways, but once he went off, the home side collapsed, conceding three times in the latter stages to lose 3-2.
Despite Wolves' late comeback, Hatfield was thrilled by Buendia's contribution in the defeat.
What did Hatfield say?
He told GIVEMESPORT: "Buendia was almost the heartbeat of that Villa side at points, in terms of creating chances, so I think it's the best we've seen of him."
Has Buendia won his place back in the team?
It's easy to get carried away, but it was just one game.
However, that type of performance is exactly why Villa paid £38m and broke their record transfer fee to bring him to the club.
Buendia should have done more than enough to keep his place against Arsenal on Friday and will be hoping to build on his showing against Wolves and eventually make himself undroppable.News Now - Sport News