Aston Villa latest news: 'Surprising' Steven Gerrard decision over £31.5m star

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard

Journalist Luke Hatfield was “surprised” not to see Emiliano Buendia start for Aston Villa in their recent 1-0 defeat to Liverpool but can understand Steven Gerrard’s decision.

The 24-year-old started on the bench before being brought on for Ashley Young in the 69th minute but was unable to help Villa grab an equaliser.

How are things going for Buendia under Gerrard?

Despite being omitted from the starting XI for the Liverpool game, overall, Buendia can be satisfied with how things are going under his new manager.

The £31.5m-rated Argentine has started in games against Brighton and Leicester City, helping his side to victories versus those two outfits. 

He was also named in the first XI for the home tie against Manchester City, though that ended in a narrow 2-1 defeat. 

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Buendia is yet to register under Gerrard and has just the one Premier League goal so far following his big-money move from Norwich City during the summer. Nevertheless, in terms of minutes, he can be pleased with what he has received from the Liverpool legend so far.

What has Hatfield said about Buendia’s recent snub?

Feeling that Buendia’s performances have improved of late, Hatfield was surprised to see Gerrard leave him on the bench for the Liverpool clash. But given the strength of the opposition, he can also understand why that decision was made. 

The Express & Star journalist told GIVEMESPORT: “It surprised me that he didn’t start against Liverpool, but I can understand the thinking from Steven Gerrard.

“He wanted to kind of sit on that game and in the last 20 minutes or so maybe open it up, which is understandable. You’re up against one of the form teams in world football, so maybe it was a wise move for him to make.”

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Will Gerrard restore Buendia back to the starting XI?

While Buendia is not scoring or creating too many goals right now, his key passes per game average is still decent. 

As per WhoScored, the former Norwich man is averaging 1.2 key passes a match, which is the third highest average in Villa’s squad, so he is still one of the team’s more creative players even if that is not translating into assists yet.

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Not starting in such a huge game against Liverpool would have been disappointing for Buendia, but you would expect him to be restored to the first XI for the upcoming clash against his former side Norwich. 

He is the club’s record signing, the sort of player a manager builds around.

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