Norwich City

Club chief speaks out on Buendia transfer as he admits mistakes

Latest Aston Villa news as the midfielder made up his mind over his future at the end of last season before completing a summer move to Villa Park.

Aston Villa's Emiliano Buendia celebrates after scoring the second goal against Burnley (Image: 2022 Getty Images)

Aston Villa’s Emi Buendia made the decision to leave Norwich City weeks before completing a move to Villa Park, according to Canaries sporting director Stuart Webber.

Buendia arrived at Villa last summer as one of five new signings made by then manager Dean Smith, who is now in charge of Norwich. The club paid a fee of around £33 million for the Argentinian as they beat off competition for his signature.

Buendia had been a key player for the Canaries in both their previous Premier League campaign and in their quest of earning promotion from the Championship the year before. However, despite being successful in that aim, Buendia had made his mind up about his future at the club.

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“So we sold a player, our best player [Buendia], because he made it very, very clear, as soon as the season finished, 'I won't be here next year',” Norwich chief Webber told the club’s official Youtube channel . "So you are left then with 'what do we do now?

"It is about getting maximum value at that point because we haven't got the capability to give him £100,000 a week to stay and give us one more year, we can't do that and everyone knows that.”

Having received the fee from Villa, Norwich invested in 11 new players as they attempted to build a squad that could compete in the Premier League. That wasn’t the case, with the club fighting at the bottom of the league all season, and finishing bottom with 22 points.

Reflecting on the transfer activity of the club now, the Norwich man admits that mistakes were made in the window. "So then it is about trying to strengthen the squad as best as we can,” he added.

“If we had just replaced Emi [Buendia] with just one player, we wouldn't have been good enough, that's a fact. We haven't got relegated because of one player. We had to spread that and did we spread it too thinly? Yes, absolutely, we did.”

Buendia played a total of 37 times in all competitions for Villa this season, scoring four goals and providing a further six assists.

Aston Villa European Cup 1982 print cover

How good of a signing was Buendia last summer? Let us know in the comments section.

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