By Mark Smith

27th Feb, 2023 | 9:10am

Emi Buendia finds perfect new role under Unai Emery, he can be Aston Villa saviour

Aston Villa returned to winning ways on Saturday 25 February, as they cruised to a 2-0 victory against Everton in the Premier League at Goodison Park.

It wasn’t all plain sailing at first on Merseyside, but Unai Emery managed to make all of the difference with his tactical decisions with substitutions.

Emi Buendia proved to have that much-needed class to open up the Toffees, with his goal putting the icing on the cake for the Villans to return home with smiles on their faces.

Funnily enough, two of Buendia’s four goals have come from the bench this season and both of those have been against Everton home and away.

The South American played only 60 minutes in those two games, but managed the same number of goals as the 1,232 minutes he has collected as a starter.

One of the main changes made by Emery is the switch to a 4-4-2, pulling the attacking wingers back into a more narrow midfield four who can interchange their positions.

So, it is no surprise that three of Buendia’s goals have come since Emery arrived at the club.

The 26-year-old has simply become more efficient, with his only shot resulting in a goal in games against Leeds and Everton, comparing that to the four he took against Brentford earlier in the season to no reward [WhoScored].

The Argentine was simply lost under Steven Gerrard, only starting consecutive games twice and not looking anywhere near as effective when coming off the bench.

Emery has tapped into Buendia, and he now looks dangerous starting and coming on to change the tide, with his goals already winning his manager six points in the Premier League.

Buendia has become somewhat of a saviour off the bench when called upon, with others such as Jhon Duran and Leon Bailey not having the same impact as him in recent weeks in the final third.

Bringing the little magician off the bench later in games may see him make more of an impact when the opposition is tiring, as we saw when he ghosted past Conor Coady like he wasn’t there to score on Sunday.

Buendia was lost without a purpose before Emery arrived, now he is one of the most important in the squad.

In other Aston Villa news, this academy player could be the next star in waiting at Bodymoor Heath after back-to-back goals for the Under-23s.