By Alan Hutton

15th Dec, 2021 | 9:33am

Hutton: This may be real reason Buendia struggling at Aston Villa

Alan Hutton has suggested Emi Buendia may be struggling with the pressure of being a “big-money” signing at Aston Villa this season.

The former Villa defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted the high-profile summer move, coupled with adapting to life at a new club, could be weighing on the 24-year-old.

As quoted by the Express and Star (14 December), Steven Gerrard revealed his plan is to “build a really exciting team around the likes” of Buendia.

The Villa boss also admitted he has had to manage the playmaker’s game time recently due to a minor knock.

However, Hutton suggested the pressure of being an expensive signing may have more of an impact on his performances.

Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “It never really helps when you pick up all these niggly injuries. His form’s been a little bit up and down.

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“Remember, that kind of pressure of being a big-money signing as well, that can weigh you down a little bit.

“It’s something to get used to. He’s settling into a new style, a new way of playing football and then a change of manager. All these things can affect your performance at the end of the day.

“He’s still trying to find his feet. I think we’re going to have to be a little bit patient with him until we can get the best out of him. If anybody can do that, it’ll be Steven Gerrard.”

As revealed by Football Insider back in June, Villa agreed a deal worth a total of £57million in transfer fees and wages to sign Buendia from Norwich.

He made his 16th Villa appearance on Tuesday (14 December), playing 83 minutes against the Canaries.

Buendia has scored once and contributed two assists in 15 Premier League games.

In other news, Gerrard may have found new Ryan Kent at Aston Villa after unexpected development.