The latest transfer news focuses on Emiliano Buendia to Aston Villa, as the Norwich and Argentina playmaker is close to sealing a move to Villa Park.
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Buendia, 24, was the player of the season in the Championship in 2020-21 as he led Norwich to instant promotion back to the top-flight with 15 goals and 16 assists.
That has also led to plenty of Premier League clubs scrambling to sign him, although the Canaries have confirmed they have accepted a club-record bid from Villa.
Villa also confirmed that their bid for Buendia has been accepted and the final part of his medical will take place on Tuesday after Argentina’s World Cup qualifier against Colombia, and he will them become a Villa player.
Is Buendia really going to make a splash in the Premier League this time around after he struggled to star in 2019-20 (one goal, seven assists) as Norwich were relegated?
Aston Villa seem to think so…
Aston Villa set to sign Buendia
It is intriguing to see Villa close to signing Buendia, especially when they have Jack Grealish around.
Or is that the kicker here?
Villa’s captain has been linked with a move to Manchester City over the past 12 months and could a move for Buendia suggest that Grealish could be heading out?
It’s too early for that, but it does seem like Buendia would have a big impact at Villa and there would be less pressure on him to perform compared to being at Arsenal.
It is believed an initial transfer fee of $42 million has been accepted by Norwich, as the deal could rise to $56 million with add ons.
That is a club-record transfer fee for Villa and shows their intent to push for a top 10 finish next season.
Dean Smith and Villa have done well when recruiting from the Championship, as the purchases of Matty Cash and Ollie Watkins last season proved, but this is a lot of money for Buendia.
Is there room for him alongside Grealish in midfield? What about John McGinn? They need to replace Ross Barkley after his loan ended, but there is a threat of Villa becoming unbalanced in midfield. Buendia loves to play on the front foot and isn’t scare of making mistakes, and that is the type of player Dean Smith has always liked.
Also, the fact that Villa and Arsenal are now battling for the same players in the transfer market tells you more about Villa’s ambition than Arsenal getting back on track.
Arsenal were keen on Buendia
Mikel Arteta isn’t likely to get Martin Odegaard back from Real Madrid after his loan spell at Arsenal in the second half of last season, so he is switching his focus elsewhere for a playmaker.
The Gunners pushed hard to sign Buendia in January but Norwich kept him to spearhead their promotion push. That was a good decision.
According to a report from The Times, Arsenal will now go all-in for Buendia as their key addition this summer, but it looks like they won’t win.
With Emile Smith Rowe starring in a central attacking role last season, plus Joe Willock back from his successful loan and the likes of Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe and Willian around in the attacking midfield areas, is this an area Arsenal need to strengthen?
Signing Buendia seems like a luxury buy as Arteta should surely firm up his defense first.
Even if they don’t sign Buendia, it seems like Arsenal plan to move on plenty of fringe players and the likes of Alexandre Lacazette, Hector Bellerin and Eddie Nketiah this summer to free up some cash.