Villa ace on striving to be more decisive, praise for Emery influence

Aston Villa playmaker Emiliano Buendia has again reiterated his desire to be more decisive for us, but has praised Unai Emery for his impact on him so far.

The 26-year-old has four goals and one assist in 28 appearances so far this season across all competitions, but three of those goals – all coming in the Premier League – have come since Emery took charge.

READ MORE: Emery pleased with Villa stalwart, no contract decision yet

Despite being dropped to the bench against Everton a fortnight ago, Buendia made a brilliant impact in the latter stages to secure an important victory for us, scoring the second goal to effectively kill the game.

As he continues to probe, task risks and show his creativity and flair in the final third, it’s that killer final pass or wayward finishing that has prevented him from racking up better numbers, but he knows he still needs to improve in that department and that is clearly his main focus moving forward.

“I would like to have better numbers in terms of goals or assists but, as I always say, I’m working on it,” he told VillaTV. “I try to create chances for my teammates and to get in the box to score goals.

“I would like to have more, but I’m working in the right way to get there.

“He (Unai Emery) gave me the confidence to feel freedom in the attacking third. I always try to be in good spaces; he tells me during the week where I can perform better in the game.

“I always try to listen and learn and do what they say because I know it’s going to help me.”

Beyond the tenacity and combativeness that he shows from a defensive perspective, which is crucial in its own right to how we defend and make it difficult for teams to break us down by applying pressure and pressing higher up the pitch, Buendia has shown he can be a real spark for us in the final third.

Whether it’s finding dangerous pockets of space, his movement off the ball to always provide an option or his general ability to create and offer a goal threat himself – particularly when playing higher up and closer to support Ollie Watkins – he will hopefully add more consistency to his impact in the attacking phase for us.

Having started 11 of 12 league games under Emery, it’s clear that the Villa boss considers him a fundamental player in this process of developing our style of play and identity. Buendia plays a vital role in that, but he is clearly aware of a need to add more goal contributions to his work too.

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