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Emi Buendia – A Star Waiting to Shine

Norwich City Football Club: Official Website The enormous price tag on Jadon Sancho and recent reports of Manchester United closing in...

Norwich City Football Club: Official Website

The enormous price tag on Jadon Sancho and recent reports of Manchester United closing in on signing a deal with him has perhaps forced Chelsea to look elsewhere for a top-quality player to replace the departing, formidable old guard of Pedro and Willian. The charismatic high-voltage attacking game that Lampard likes his team to play will be quite impossible to execute without the likes of a star quality player who has already proven his worth at the top level. 

The existing roaster boasts mainly of the talents of Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and the incoming Hakim Ziyech who can take the wide attacking positions up high up the pitch. Mason Mount likes to play more as a number 10 or a number 8, similar to Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Flag-bearers of the Chelsea youth revolution, Tino Anjorin, and Conor Gallagher have plenty of potential but are yet to make their mark at the top level. 

Rumour mill has provided a lot of names that Chelsea are linked with. The likes of Samuel Chukwueze and Jeremie Boga are making a lot of rounds. While Boga himself seems reluctant in making the move back to his former employers, Chukwueze’s price tag and the recent signing of Ziyech make him an unlikely acquisition. Another prominent name linked with us is of Philippe Coutinho. Although he is a player of humongous stature, his defensive frailties and possession losing statistics are too high and would just be a surplus to our already talented bunch of number 10s in the squad. 

In the given scenario, there is one highly underrated player who seems to be a perfect fit for Frank Lampard’s Chelsea. Hailing from Argentina and playing a crucial role in Norwich’s recent successful campaigns, the 23-year-old Emiliano Buendia has given some jaw-dropping performances on the pitch for the fans to relish. Daniel Farke’s Norwich side play like to keep possession and have a free-flowing dynamic attacking system comprising majorly of short passes. Emi Buendia has flourished in this system playing with very impressive statistics to his name. He has 7 assists to his name at 0.29 assists per 90 minutes. His expected assists are 6.9 at 0.31 expected assists per 90 minutes. Having attempted a total of 1283 passes, he has completed 971 of them at a success rate of 75.7%. He has registered 70 key passes to his name with 192 progressive passes out of which 127 passes are to the final third and 52 passes into the penalty area. 

Buendia is a skilled player with vision, creativity, and speed. He is a dangerous cog in the attack and is known for his clinical contributions. So far this season he has 117 shot-creating actions at 5.22 shot-creating actions per 90 minutes and 7 goal creating actions at 0.31 goal creating actions per 90 minutes. He has taken 38 shots with 9 of them on target at 23.7% shot accuracy. Per 90 minutes, Buendia has 1.59 shots and 0.38 shots on target. Showcasing his stunning talent early in the season against top sides like Liverpool, Chelsea, and Manchester City while recording assists in each of these games and hounding oppositions with his acute vision and dribbling skills, he announced his arrival to top-flight football. Buendia has 1667 touches out of which 679 were in the attacking third and 52 in the opposition penalty area. He has attempted 123 dribbles out of which 93 have been successful at a 75.6% success rate while dribbling past 97 players. He has covered a total distance of 7086 yards with the ball out of which 4325 yards have been progressive dribbles. He also has 81 accurate long balls and 17 through balls to his name.

Defensively, Buendia has been a class act. His defensive contribution to the team is what makes him a gem of a player. Frank Lampard would want his attacking players to also take charge of their defensive responsibilities without any fail. Buendia fits perfectly into Lampard’s system after flourishing under Farke’s high-intensity pressing style of football. He has 71 tackles attempted out of which he has won 51 at 71.8% success rate. Per 90 minutes he has 2.97 tackles attempted and 2.13 tackles won. 50 tackles have been in the defensive third, 15 in the middle third, and 6 in the attacking third. He has registered 20 clearances and 25 interceptions. Standing at 172cm from the ground, he has managed 7 headed clearances while winning 24 aerial battles. He has won 92 successful 50/50s and 228 duels. He has 184 recoveries to his name.

Buendia’s performances in the middle half of the season against tough opponents like Leicester and Tottenham have been commendable. Buendia can create opportune situations for his team out of nothing. He has the ability to dribble past players and find the right pass out of nowhere. He is very good at link-up plays and can prove to be a pivotal part of any attack. Norwich City has earned 0.80 points per match he has played. They have scored 21 goals when he has been on the pitch at 0.88 goals per 90 minutes. The expected goals when he is on the pitch are 1.12 and expected goals per 90 minutes are 1.49 when he is on the pitch. Being a creative genius who can very, very dangerous with the ball, he is very prone to be fouled quite often. He has drawn 51 fouls this season.

His awareness and intelligence are the commendable traits in his game. He shows sublime composure on the ball and easily finds a way out by taking on opponents to find a pass out under intense pressure. This makes him a very reliable player to have on your team. Buendia has had six man of the match performances this season. Chelsea’s third fixture of the season was at Carrow Road and the team endured a difficult time only to clinch 3 points by a 3-2 scoreline. One of the best players for the Norwich side, that afternoon, was Buendia who posed as a constant nightmare for Frank Lampard’s young Chelsea, harrowing the defense every chance he got. 

He can be easily snapped up for €25million-€30million. Emi Buendia is the perfect transfer target for Frank Lampard at this moment. Chelsea must do everything to negotiate and acquire his services for the foreseeable future. 

Written by - Supratik Das
Twitter - @Supratik_Das

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