‘Growing fear’ £38m star will ‘seek January exit’ from Villa Park

Aston Villa star Emiliano Buendia could look to leave Villa Park when the transfer window reopens after becoming frustrated at a lack of game-time, according to journalist Dean Jones.

The Villans are just three points clear of the Premier League’s relegation zone after a worrying start to the campaign, but head coach Steven Gerrard has left one of his squad’s most creative influences on the bench regularly.

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What’s the latest news involving Buendia?

Although Buendia was included in the starting line-up for Villa’s 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest on Monday, he has found opportunities hard to come by during the early stages of the season.

The Argentinian has been restricted to just 402 minutes of action, notching a goal and an assist along the way.

Buendia’s lack of game-time comes despite the fact he became Villa’s club-record signing when he made the £38million switch from Norwich City last year.

Since Gerrard moved into the Midlands giants’ hot seat last November, having replaced the sacked Dean Smith, the 25-year-old has racked up 10 goal contributions in 37 outings.

Although Buendia still has just shy of four years remaining on his £75,000-per-week contract at Villa, he may look to move onto pastures new if he is not in the first XI more often.

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What has Dean Jones said about Buendia?

Jones believes there are concerns that Buendia could seek an escape route out of Villa after being made to contend with a regular spot on the bench.

The transfer insider is shocked that Gerrard has not made the former Getafe man a focal point of his team.

Jones told GIVEMESPORT: “There are a lot of things that are annoying Villa fans about Gerrard so, of course, little things like this are going to niggle away.

“As a fan, you want everyone to do well. But, with someone like Buendia, there will just be that growing fear that he will look to leave in January.

“He’s only started three Premier League games, I think, and he has completed just one Premier League game. That’s quite a surprise given we know what he can offer.”

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Why has Buendia been out of the starting line-up regularly?

The acquisition of Philippe Coutinho, who played alongside Villa boss Gerrard 81 times during their spell together at Liverpool, has gone against Buendia.

Having initially made his return to the Premier League on loan from Barcelona in January, the playmaker completed a £17million permanent switch during the summer transfer window.

Coutinho has made 10 appearances since the season got underway and, despite having more time on the pitch than Buendia, is still searching for his first goal contribution.

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