New Aston Villa signing Emiliano Buendia has been priced up at a tempting £6.5m by Fantasy Premier League (FPL) ahead of the game’s relaunch.
The summer recruit from newly promoted Norwich City will begin the new campaign some £1.5m cheaper than the Villans’ talisman, Jack Grealish (£8.0m), who has been handed a price hike.
Villa start 2021/22 with an appealing set of matches against Watford (a), Newcastle United (h) and Brentford (h) and sit top of our Season Ticker for ease of fixture in Gameweeks 1-3 as a result – although things quickly turn sour after the September international break.
The question is: is Buendia worthy of a short-term gamble in that opening triple-header?
We’ll assess his FPL credentials in the article below, with subscribers also able to access his player profile and much more in our Premium Members Area – and there’s a 20% off subscriptions right now.
Buendia’s move to the Midlands cost a club-record £33m in real-life terms, with the 24-year-old Argentinian signing a five-year deal.
His new manager, Dean Smith, said:
Emiliano has just completed an outstanding season in a championship-winning Norwich side with 31 combined goals and assists and was named player of the season across the league.
He is equally capable as a wide attacker or as a number 10 and is a great addition to our attacking options. We are delighted to have made such an exciting signing so early in the summer and look forward to Emi joining up with us for a full pre-season.
Buendia is, of course, someone we Fantasy managers have encountered before.
The Argentina under-20 international previous crossed our paths in 2019/20, with the yo-yo Canaries enjoying a brief stay in the Premier League before dropping back down to the second tier.
Buendia started his career with Getafe, debuting for the Spanish outfit’s B side at the age of 17 towards the back-end of 2014/15.
Moving back and forth from the reserves to the senior side, he made only 13 league starts for Getafe in his time in the south of Madrid.
His breakout loan spell with Segunda B club Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa came in 2017/18, with 18 attacking returns arriving in 40 second-tier appearances.
More of a supplier of goals than a prolific scorer of them, the assists continued to arrive upon his move to Norwich City in June 2018.
Buendia departed Carrow Road having created 36 league strikes, finding the back of the net on a further 23 occasions.
He also claimed the EFL Championship Player of the Season award in his farewell campaign, having passed the 30-mark for goals and assists combined.
BUENDIA’S RECORD AT NORWICH CITY
|2019/20 Premier League||28||8||1||7|
Above stats from WhoScored
2020/21 CHAMPIONSHIPS STATS
|Total (rank v other Championship players)|
|Shots on target||38 (=7th)|
|Chances created||122 (1st)|
Above stats from WhoScored
Buendia was both the leading assist maker in the English second tier and the top chance creator, supplying a remarkable 36 more key passes than any other Championship player.
Only 29 of those 122 chances were created from set plays, too, so he wasn’t overly reliant on dead-ball duties – something we don’t know for certain will be handed to him at Villa Park.
Goal threat-wise, over half of his shots (60) and a third of his goals (five) did come from outside of the box.
Just three of his 111 efforts were from inside the six-yard box, so there’s a distinctly De Bruyne-esque feel to the numbers he has posted recently: a prolific creator of chances and an opportunistic shooter from distance.
COMPARISONS WITH VILLA ASSETS IN 2020/21
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