Emi Buendia joins Villa as Arsenal miss out on summer transfer target

Buendia was the Canaries’ player of the season as they won the Championship title and sealed an immediate return to the Premier League, scoring 15 goals and registering 16 assists – more than any other player in the division.

Arsenal had been interested in Buendia, but are thought to have failed to initially match Norwich’s asking price – and that allowed Villa to steal a march and agree a five-year deal in the region of £30million plus add-ons.

Buendia completed his medical and finalised personal terms on Thursday following Argentina’s World Cup qualifying match with Colombia.

Head coach Dean Smith said on the Villa website: “Emiliano is equally capable as a wide attacker or as a number 10 and is a great addition to our attacking options.

“We are delighted to have made such an exciting signing so early in the summer and look forward to Emi joining up with us for a full pre-season.”

Norwich have made a bumper profit on the Argentina playmaker, who was signed from Spanish club Getafe for around £1.6million in 2018.

Buendia made a total of 121 appearances in all competitions, scoring 24 goals, across three seasons at Carrow Road.

Norwich sporting director Stuart Webber admitted once Buendia had his heart set on a move away and Villa came up with the right deal, the Norfolk club were “left with little option” but to sanction the transfer.

Additional reporting by PA.

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