Emi Buendia celebrates with the Sky Bet Championship trophy
Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of midfielder Emi Buendia from Norwich City for a club-record transfer fee.
Buendia was the Canaries’ player of the season as they won the Sky Bet 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.
Villa revealed Buendia had signed a five-year deal, reported to be in the region of £30million plus add-ons, after completing his medical and finalising personal terms 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 £1.6m 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.
“Whilst we are disappointed to have lost a fantastic player, we should take a moment to be proud of the journey that both Emi and the club have been on,” Webber said on www.canaries.co.uk.
“From the moment our club scouts identified Emi through to Daniel [Farke] and the staff giving him an opportunity, it has been a memorable journey.
“Emi has been top class since the day he arrived. He has worked incredibly hard and we are proud that he has developed into both the player and person he is today.
“I’m sure he will be the first to acknowledge what Daniel and all of the staff have done to help contribute to his success.”
Webber added: “Despite us not wanting Emi to leave, once he made it clear that he wanted to go to Aston Villa, and they reached the level of deal we have got to, we were left with little option.
“He and his young family will be missed, but he leaves with our blessings, for a club-record fee, one that could reach nearly double our previous record.
“We look forward to watching Emi’s career develop further. He has helped us grow as a club over the last three years.
“But now that this deal is concluded, and with the benefit of it happening early in the summer, we look forward to progressing our transfer window plans.”
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