Aston Villa have been heavily linked with a move for Norwich City ace Emiliano Buendia this summer, and the Argentine could be a crucial addition for Dean Smith.
Villa will be looking to improve once again next season, as we hope to build on our 11th-place finish in the Premier League this past campaign and continue to move in the right direction to compete at the top level.
In order to that, we’ll have to continue to improve the squad where possible, and that could involve further signings this summer to raise the level of quality once again.
It’s unlikely to be a major spending spree like we’ve seen in the last two years, but more so a focus on bringing in quality over quantity and getting it right in key positions.
With Ahmed Elmohamady, Neil Taylor and Tom Heaton set to be out of contract next month, there are depth issues at the back and so we’ll need to address those concerns this summer too. Whether that involves more involvement for our FA Youth Cup-winning youngsters or new signings, remains to be seen.
However, one of the other major areas that needs to be looked at ahead of next season is our attack, and as per The Telegraph, Buendia is seemingly at the top of our list as we prepare an offer for the Argentine who is said to be valued at around £40m by Norwich.
So, would the 24-year-old be the right man for the job?
Addresses obvious issue for Villa
After scoring just 41 goals in the 2019/20 campaign, Villa certainly improved in that department last year as we bagged 55 goals while also tightening things up at the back.
However, our form and attacking threat undoubtedly dipped when captain Jack Grealish was sidelined by a shin injury for 12 games, and it raised concern over how much we rely on our influential playmaker to make us tick in the final third and how he adds a much-needed clinical edge to our play.
It’s hoped that he can stay fit and lead our charge throughout next season, but adding real quality to our frontline will make a significant difference and allow us to cause our opponents even more problems. With Ollie Watkins leading the line and Grealish deployed either on the left flank or through the middle, the right wing is perhaps the area of concern and Buendia could fit right in.
The likes of Anwar El Ghazi and Bertrand Traore had a good year, and the expectation is that they will get better. However, inconsistency has been a problem and question marks could be raised over whether or not they can take us to that next level.
Link-up with Watkins and Grealish
As seen in the video below, Buendia formed a superb partnership with Teemu Pukki last season, as his creativity and assists allowed his teammate to flourish.
Watkins enjoyed an excellent first season in the top flight with 14 goals to his name, and it’s easy to see him relishing the opportunity to latch on to the passes that Buendia is capable of playing in behind defenders.
Combine that with Grealish creating on the opposite flank or in tandem with Buendia, and it could lead to a devastating front three with plenty of goals and assists between them.
Buendia bagged 15 goals and 17 assists in 41 appearances last season, and so if he were to bring both goals and creativity to this side, it would make us a lot harder to stop given the talent that we already have available to Smith.
Villa formula working
As seen with the additions of Watkins and Matty Cash in particular last summer, Villa have had good success with taking players from the Championship to help improve our squad.
Watkins, 25, and Cash, 23, are both of a similar age to Buendia, and so building this core of players with a long-term plan in mind is absolutely part of the Villa strategy moving forward.
Buendia flourished in the Championship last season, but naturally it’s a big step up in the Premier League and he’ll have to prove that he can deliver at the top level too.
Nevertheless, if Villa truly believe that he is the right man to add a new dynamic to our attack and make us a better attacking unit, then it may well be time to put any concerns over his price-tag aside and go get Smith his man.
With young stars like Brad Young, Carney Chukwuemeka and Jaden Philogene-Bidace knocking on the door, we have depth in that department if we give them chances at senior level. So why not go big on one major signing if we’re convinced that he would be the perfect fit for us.