Steven Gerrard will tell summer signings Emiliano Buendia and Leon Bailey to “step up” after an underwhelming start to their time at Aston Villa, according to Express & Star journalist Luke Hatfield.
Gerrard was installed as the Midlands club’s new head coach last week after opting to leave Rangers in favour of succeeding Dean Smith.
What’s the latest news involving Buendia and Bailey?
Then-Villa boss Smith was given a large transfer budget thanks to the sale of Jack Grealish, who smashed the British transfer record by switching to Manchester City for £100million.
Only Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea spent more than Villa as they parted with £93million during the summer window.
A large chunk of that cash was spent on Buendia, who made the £33million move from newly-promoted Norwich City.
Smith hailed Buendia’s club-record arrival from Carrow Road, describing the Argentinian as an “exciting signing”.
Bailey was then welcomed to the club after German giants Bayer Leverkusen sanctioned his £25million sale.
However, Buendia has scored just one goal in his first 10 Villa appearances, while the only time Bailey found the back of the net resulted in him picking up an injury which forced him onto the sidelines.
What has Luke Hatfield said about the duo?
Hatfield believes Gerrard will hold conversations with Buendia and Bailey over their recent form at Bodymoor Heath this week.
While this is Bailey’s first taste of Premier League action, Hatfield feels Gerrard’s experience in the division will only benefit the Jamaica international.
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The journalist also reckons a stark improvement is needed to get fans off their seats after the club parted with considerable sums to welcome the duo to Villa Park.
Hatfield told GIVEMESPORT: “Buendia has played in the Premier League before but Bailey hasn’t, of course.
“But Gerrard knows it better than anyone. As a player, he knows the ins and outs of the league and he’ll say to them ‘you need to step up, show what you’re all about and what you’re capable of’ because the Villa fans haven’t seen enough of it yet.”
Why did Villa spend big on Buendia and Bailey?
Buendia enjoyed huge success during his time with Norwich, scoring 24 goals and racking up a further 42 assists in 121 appearances for the Norfolk club.
The 24-year-old also played a key role as the Canaries won two Championship titles in the space of three seasons.
Bailey was prolific in the final third of the pitch during his time with Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen as he found the back of the net 39 times and contributed 26 assists over the course of 156 outings.