Former Aston Villa boss Dean Smith weighs in on Emi Buendia’s ‘stop-start’ time since leaving Norwich City

Emiliano Buendia became Aston Villa’s record signing when he joined the club in the summer transfer window

Former Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has come to the defence of Villa’s club record signing Emiliano Buendia ahead of Norwich City’s visit to B6 on Saturday.

Buendia became the claret & blue’s record signing last summer when he was brought to Villa Park from Norwich by the now Canaries boss.

Whilst his signing has by no means been a flop - aside from a few glimpses here and there - the Argentine is yet to really live up to his price tag.

The winger is spoken very highly of by most, including then manager Smith and current boss Steven Gerrard but has struggled to put in a consistent run in the Villa starting line-up.

However, Smith, despite no longer having the reins at Villa Park, has come to the defence of the 25-year-old, labelling him a ‘terrific player’ and someone who he believes will no doubt become a success for the Villans.

“Terrific player,” Smith said, when asked about the Argentine.

“I think every Norwich City fan will tell you he’s a terrific player.

“He’s gone into Aston Villa and it tells you how the transition going from one club to another can take time. We will have to be patient with some of the players we’ve signed here and Aston Villa have to be patient with Emi.

“He’s certainly had a stop-start introduction at Villa. He got injured pre-season, then we had the covid issue and travelling to Argentina and I think he ended up banned, Emi Martinez as well - not being able to play. They stopped in Croatia for a week or two. It was very, very disruptive.

“Talent, no question. Heart and desire, no question. No regrets from me signing him.”

Buendia is expected to get the nod from the start when he takes on both his former boss and team on Saturday and will be eager to put in a standout performance.

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