Aston Villa have reached an agreement to sign Emiliano Buendia from Norwich City.
Reports over the weekend suggested Villa had a £33million offer, which could reach a total value of £40m, accepted by promoted side Norwich.
Arsenal had also pursued Buendia, but it is Villa who have confirmed they are poised to sign the Championship’s Player of the Year in a deal that is a club-record signing for them and the highest ever sale for Norwich.
Villa’s statement on Monday read: “Aston Villa and Norwich City have reached an agreement for the transfer of Emiliano Buendia.
“As Emiliano is currently in the Argentina national team’s biosecure bubble, preparing for a World Cup qualifying match with Colombia on Tuesday evening, he will undergo a medical and complete the transfer after the game.”
Playmaker Buendia, 24, played a major role in Norwich’s return to the Premier League, racking up 15 goals and 16 assists in the Championship and recently earned his first Argentina call-up.
He provided seven assists the year before in a productive top-flight season, even though Norwich were ultimately relegated.
Norwich have also confirmed the transfer will go through pending a successful medical for Buendia.
Their statement read: “Norwich City can confirm that a club-record deal has been agreed with Aston Villa for the transfer of Emi Buendia.
“Buendia will complete his final medical checks following the conclusion of Argentina’s World Cup qualifying fixture against Colombia on Tuesday evening.
“Final confirmation of the transfer will follow upon completion of the player’s medical.”
Buendia created 55 shooting opportunities in open play in the 2019-20 Premier League season, a figure that only Kevin De Bruyne, potential new team-mate Jack Grealish and Sadio Mane could better.
He was level with Mohamed Salah and ahead of Roberto Firmino, Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva, among others.
His seven assists, only one of which came from a set-piece situation, was another notable feat, and his 6.2 expected assists (xA) figure suggests he wasn’t benefiting from astonishing luck throughout the season either.
Buendia added to his game in the Championship. In the Premier League he averaged just 1.46 shots per game, but he more than doubled that frequency to three every 90 minutes in the second tier, likely a consequence of the fact he has spent more time in the central areas of the pitch and closer to the penalty area.
As a result, his goals haul shot up from one to 15 and his xG (expected goals) of 11.8 shows that, while he may have scored more than the quality of his chances warranted, he would still have expected to reach double figures.
Buendia had 16 assists, above his overall xA of 12.4, which was still at least four more than any other player in the Championship in 2020-21.
Similarly, his 93 key passes in open play was – remarkably – 31 more than anyone else in the division.
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