Aston Villa signed Emiliano Buendia from Norwich City for a reported fee of €35M in the beginning of June. After a brilliant season in the EFL Championship, he has been expected to shine in the Premier League and has been termed as the replacement for former star Jack Grealish, who left for Manchester City earlier in the transfer window.
Emiliano Buendia, who was handed the number 10 shirt, has started to deliver a positive impact on the team with his performances. As a replacement for Grealish, Buendia has the pressure on his shoulders to be the creative playmaker for Dean Smith’s side. The expectations on the Argentine are high, as he is expected to create chances for his team.
In the first three matches of the season, he has lived up to the expectations, creating multiple opportunities for his team.
In the first game of the season, he was playing as a number 10 behind Danny Ings. His pass map in the game against Watford shows that he drifted to the right side of the attack on multiple occasions. He created a good amount of expected threat(xT) with his passing and dribbling, threatening the Watford defence by playing multiple passes into their 18-yard box trying to find Ings. The positions where he received passes from his teammates show that he was dropping deep to support his midfield and defence and was focused on creating opportunities through the centre.
Buendia started the match against Newcastle in the same position as the first match, though his pass map shows that he played a lot of passes into the box and kept shifting towards the right side of the attack again. He also dropped back in defence to help out his teammates and help in the build-up.
The positions in which he received his passes show that he was ready to help out his team’s right back, dropping in deep towards the defensive areas. In attack, he was always found around the opposition box and was focused on creating goal-scoring opportunities.
Buendia started his third game of the season as a winger in a much more advanced position. He scored his first goal for Aston Villa through an assist from Ings. He played a wider role as compared to the earlier matches and was highly influential in the match. He also made the most passes into Brentford’s 18-yard box for Aston Villa across the 90 minutes. The match ended in a 1-1 draw, with both teams getting their goal in the first 15 minutes of the first half.
Emiliano Buendia might not be the same player as Jack Grealish but is an extremely talented player. His playing positions and style are different to his predecessor, but he has all the potential in the world to be a star in the Premier League and to be the main man for Aston Villa.