After much anticipation, Emiliano is now officially an Aston Villa player, completing his move from Norwich City for £38M. The deal set transfer records for both clubs, and easily surpassed the £30M fee that Villa paid for Ollie Watkins last season.
Who is Emiliano Buendia?
Most FPL managers are already familiar with Buendia, who played for Norwich in the EPL back in the 2019-20 season that ended in relegation for The Canaries. Buendia is still young at 24 and has a lot of promise, but this is very much a signing for the here and now, so he is expected to hit the ground running.
Buendia had been with Norwich since 2018, previously playing for Getafe (having come through their youth ranks, as well as Real Madrid). Although he is yet to make an appearance for Argentine national team, he received a call-up in May, which is impressive considering he’s spent most of his time in the Championship.
Buendia has everything you could want in a winger: tricky, pacy, slippery. He is an all-round exciting prospect to watch, being able to provide goals and assists in equal measure, as per the demands of the modern game for forwards.
Buendia is in the form of his life at the moment, with 15 goals and 16 assists last season in The Championship. That’s almost double his goal tally from 2018-19, so he’s clearly growing as a player and is likely to continue his progress. In his last EPL season (2019-20), when Norwich finished rock-bottom, he managed only 1 goal but a respectable 7 assists.
This year Buendia will be part of a well-established Aston Villa side that will probably find life in the Prem more comfortable than Norwich will. He should be complemented well by the likes of Ollie Watkins, Bertrand Traoré, Wesley, and Jack Grealish (if Villa can keep hold of him). And in Dean Smith’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation, he will be afforded more attacking license than he was allowed the last time he played in the EPL.
And if last night’s 4-0 thrashing of League Two side Walsall is any indication, Buendia looks set to thrive at Villa Park. Granted, the opposition finished 19th in the fourth tier last season, but take nothing away from these magnificent through balls, both of which led directly to goals from Ollie Watkins. And had Buendia not been rested for the second half, who knows how many more highlight-reel plays we might have seen from the Argentinian.
What a ball from Buendia to Watkins pic.twitter.com/kYdz7TPp31— FPL Marcin (@FPLMarcin) July 21, 2021
Here is Villa’s second goal. What a ball again from Emi Buendia for Ollie Watkins who coolly slots home his second if the same.— Aston Villa Statto (@AVFCStatto) July 21, 2021
The understanding that is obviously developing between Buendia and Watkins is something that will set fantasy managers to drooling, especially with Villa opening the season with a trip to Watford before hosting Newcastle and Brentford.
In FPL, Buendia is attractively priced at £6.5M, £0.5M more expensive than most of the other key attacking midfielders in the Aston Villa side, such as Traoré, John McGinn, and Anwar El Ghazi. But that still looks like great value given his capabilities and the fact that he’s likely to be a regular in the side. He is fully £1.5M cheaper than Jack Grealish, yet it is entirely possible that he could provide similar stats. He has set pieces in his locker too, although how the Villans will slice that pie this season remains to be seen. In Fantrax NMA-11, he is currently valued at an affordable $7.00. The promise of Grealish-level returns for a price tag like that looks like a true bargain indeed.
In light of his skill, his suitability for Smith’s setup, his budding chemistry with Ollie Watkins, and his tasty run of opening fixtures, Emi Buendia will surely be among the first players named to many GW-1 fantasy squads.
Will you consider Emiliano Buendia for your Fantasy Teams?
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Are you backing Buendia to payoff early in his Aston Villa career? Or do you think he’ll take a while to fit in? Have you drafted him on any of your fantasy sides yet? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below!