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Aston Villa's Emi Buendia earns praise but must 'follow the plan'

Unai Emery reckons Emi Buendia must learn to curb his enthusiasm after praising the playmaker’s recent performances for Villa.

Aston Villa's Emiliano Buendia celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa
Aston Villa's Emiliano Buendia celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa

Buendia has scored twice in the last three Premier League matches for Emery’s resurgent team and the boss has been impressed by the £33million club record signing’s attitude.

But he admitted the Argentina international can at times be guilty of getting too carried away, to the point he loses sight of the gameplan.

Emery explained: “I think Buendia’s best quality is his mentality. He is always pushing and sometimes I have to stop him.

“I have to control his mind because he gets so excited sometimes and he is not clear in his thoughts about what he is going to do next on the pitch. I’ve been speaking a lot to everybody and to Emi especially.

“I am very happy with him because in the last two matches he has played very well and he’s scored.

“I have used him as a second striker, as a left winger, but playing inside.

“I am trying to find his best position on the pitch and how he can combine best with his team-mates on the pitch.”

Having regularly played second fiddle to Philippe Coutinho in the early months of the season under Steven Gerrard, Buendia has started all six Premier League matches since Emery took charge.

Villa have won four of them but Emery admitted he is still learning about his players and working to find the right blend in attack.

The boss is keen to sign another striker after allowing top scorer Danny Ings to depart in a £15m move to West Ham. Ings had scored five goals in his last eight league appearances and his exit will, for the moment, place a greater burden on the likes of Buendia, Ollie Watkins, Leon Bailey and Coutinho.

Emery said: “We are also looking at Philippe Coutinho because I was so happy with the way he finished the last match against Leeds.

“And Leon Bailey, I’m trying to get his best performance and find his best position on the pitch. Is it getting wide, or on the inside?

“I want him going through on goal, I like the way he makes runs and how he can combine with Ollie Watkins. I have a lot of width, a lot which works but I’m really excited about the challenge I have to find the best performances from them.”

Kadan Young, a regular on the bench in recent weeks, has signed his first professional contract.

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