It isn’t often that an Argentine playmaker finds themselves playing in the English Championship and still being recognised internationally. Emi Buendia, though, is a special kind of talent. The highly impressive youngster has become one of the most imperious playmakers in English football, both at top-flight and second tier levels. His outstanding passing mixed in with an incredible vision and technical prowess makes him one of the easiest players to watch in England. Now, though, he might be leaving Norwich City.
Having become a modern hero with Canaries fans, it might be time for Buendia to flee the nest. He was a low-risk signing and quickly became one of the best players in the Championship, Even in their sole Premier League season since he was signed, Buendia was one of the few highlights in what was a tough spell in the top-flight. Now, he might get the guarantee of Premier League action for a little longer. Aston Villa are believed to have agreed a fee in the region of £30m to make the Buendia signing a reality.
With goalkeeper Emi Martinez already at Villa, as well as other South Americans in Wesley and Douglas Luiz, there is a growing South American feel to the Villa side. Buendia, though, might just become the perfect replacement for the almost certain to depart Jack Grealish.
The Villa talisman is expected to move on for a fee well in excess of £70m this year, and it could open the door Buendia to take his role as the protagonist in an attack-minded Villa team. If Grealish sticks around, though, Villa might rightfully be able to point to having two of the best playmakers in the English game on their books.
Why is Emi Buendia leaving Norwich?
Put simply, he has achieved all he realistically can. Norwich are a steady, intelligent, well-run club that does not take needless risks. They are consistent and they know how to build a team without spending beyond their means. However, this does mean that even surviving for a season becomes a real challenge for the Canaries. As such, players who have shown they can not only adapt to the Premier League, but thrive, might soon find they have outgrown what the club can offer them in terms of opportunity.
For Buendia, he has shown that he can more than handle the challenge of being involved at Premier League level. The international has been given numerous chances to play for his country, and has quickly become a major part of the clubs recent history. As such, he cannot really achieve much more – keeping Norwich up would be an impressive feat, for sure, but it wouldn’t exactly change his prospects beyond moving on.
For Villa, though, they can offer a team that is trying to compete for a European slot and thus can provide a higher level of ambition and thus a greater likelihood of picking up some more international recognition in the near future.