By Villa News Speaking to Dan Bardell

20th Aug, 2023 | 6:30pm

Dan Bardell: 'Twelth man' Emi Buendia's injury won't impact Aston Villa starting XI

We’re delighted to welcome Sky Sports journalist Dan Bardell as our exclusive Aston Villa columnist each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the club…

While Emi Buendia will be missed in the Aston Villa squad, he does not make the best starting lineup and he is most impactful coming off the bench, according to Dan Bardell.

The club confirmed (10 August) that the Argentine suffered a significant knee ligament injury and could face up to eight months on the sidelines following an injury in training.

Villa’s season did not get off to a good start following a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Newcastle United before making amends with a 4-0 demolition of Everton, and with Tyrone Mings sustaining a season-ending injury at St James Park, Unai Emery’s squad is looking thin.

However, Bardell suggests that while Villa’s recent bad luck makes it seem like a “curse” has been put in the club, Buendia’s absence won’t impact the starting XI.

Speaking exclusively to Villa News, Bardell said: “I actually don’t think that when Emi Buendia is fit that he gets into Villa’s best starting lineup, but he’s certainly the twelfth man.

“I always quite liked him coming off the bench and think he’s better coming off the bench compared to when he starts games. But Villa losing anyone that was a massive part of getting seventh-place last season, which Buendia was, is a huge blow.

“The depth of the squad still isn’t massive so Villa can’t afford to be without someone for a season, but at a time too when Jacob Ramsey is missing in that midfield, it does make us feel a little bit stretched.

“It’s unfortunate as well that an innocuous slip at the end of a training session has caused this to happen. It feels like everyone was so excited for the start of the new season, but then someone put a curse on us!

“Everything that could have gone wrong in the last few days has.”

In other Aston Villa news, Bardell shares who he thinks must replace the injured Tyrone Mings at centre-back.