Whelan swipes at Aston Villa star letting McGinn down after Southampton loss
Noel Whelan has slammed Aston Villa playmaker Emi Buendia for failing to “dictate games” after Friday’s 1-0 defeat to Southampton.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 24-year-old’s lack of influence was piling pressure on John McGinn instead.
Buendia made his fourth consecutive start against the Saints but was substituted off after 71 minutes.
He has scored once and contributed one assist in his nine appearances since joining from Norwich City.
Whelan insisted the Argentine has not lived up to expectations this season.
He suggested Buendia’s poor form means John McGinn is having to “dictate” games by himself.
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“I was expecting a lot more from Buendia, that’s for sure,” Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.
“We’ve seen a couple of games where he’s shown that quality but I think he should be dictating games a lot more than then he is.
“Taking a little bit more pressure off McGinn because I think McGinn is always seen as that player. He’s not the flair player but I’ll tell you what, he dictates games.
“He can turn the game on its head. McGinn has got that desire, that passion, he’s got everything with his ability in that midfield area.
“I was certainly expecting a lot more assists and goals from Buendia when he came into Aston Villa. I thought that was a really exciting signing and a really good signing in replacement of Grealish.
“It’s obviously taking a little bit more time than expected. You’ve got to find it quickly, that form.
“He’s a big player for Aston Villa, especially in that role, where you’ve got to be creative. I know it’s big shoes to fill after Grealish but he’s got to rise to that challenge.”