By Alan Hutton

4th Nov, 2021 | 7:00pm

Hutton suggests Aston Villa making tactical change to unleash 'brilliant' Buendia

Aston Villa has suggested Dean Smith needs to shake up his tactics to get the best out of Emi Buendia at Aston Villa.

The former Villa defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted the 24-year-old has “struggled” since joining from Norwich City this summer.

Buendia has played nine times for the Villans so far, operating as a winger on either flank or as an attacking midfielder.

He started on the right-hand flank for the 4-1 defeat to West Ham but was hooked before the hour mark.

The Villans face Southampton on Friday night.

Hutton suggested moving Buendia to a “number 10 role” could get the best out of him.

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Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “He’s struggled but you need to remember he’s come into a new team. It’s a new system with new players all about him.

“It does take time to settle. We’re 10 games in, I still think it’s very early in terms of the league and positions at the moment.

“The thing with Buendia coming in, you’re paying a lot of money for him. Expectations are high. You have lost Jack Grealish and you are looking for the next guy. Who’s going to come and take that mantle on and run with it?

“There is no doubt he is a brilliant player. Does he normally play in a five? Are you trying to fit him into a certain formation?

“Dean Smith’s probably trying to get the best out of him. What formation does he fit into the best? For me, it’d be a 4-2-3-1 and he plays the number 10 role.

“Whether he goes for that on Friday we’ll have to wait and see. It’s just about trying to get the best out of the player.”

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