By Noel Whelan

13th Nov, 2021 | 5:17pm

Whelan issues warning to Buendia and Aston Villa teammate as five new deals agreed

Leon Bailey and Emi Buendia could find themselves slipping down the pecking order at Aston Villa if they don’t start performing under Steven Gerrard, according to Noel Whelan.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted “no one is safe” under new Claret and Blues boss Steven Gerrard.

Gerrard was confirmed as the new manager at Aston Villa on Thursday (November 11th) after the sacking of Dean Smith earlier this week.

Gary McAllister, Michael Beale, Tom Culshaw, Scott Mason, and Jordan Milsom will all join the former Rangers boss at Villa Park.

Bailey and Buendia joined the Midlands club during the summer window after the departure of Jack Grealish.

Whelan claimed the pair, who have just five combined goal contributions this term, need to “step up” in order to keep their places in the side.

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“It’s massively important that the new signings Bailey and Buendia can step up and find another level,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“That goes for everyone at the club as well. No one is safe when a new manager comes in, that’s what gives the players that edge when someone new comes in.

“Everyone has the opportunity to nail down their place in the first team.

“These big signings who came in when Grealish left, have really got to step to the forefront and work hard. They have to show why they were brought in and why they deserve to be in that starting eleven.

“If they don’t start producing in a Villa shirt, they will very quickly find themselves slipping down the pecking order and having to prove themselves.

“Gerrard has so many international-quality players to choose from and that means competition will be stiff.

In other news, pundit thinks 25-year-old Rangers star could follow Gerrard to Aston Villa.