This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Fan’s Voice’ series, where we gather original opinions from those closest to the clubs concerned on matters surrounding their team and share them with a wider audience…
Norwich City midfielder Emi Buendia continues to be linked with a move away from Carrow Road, with Arsenal bring keen on a deal to sign the Argentine.
The 24-year-old has since admitted that he won’t be distracted from any speculation linking him with a January departure from the Championship club, but it’ll be interesting to see whether that ends Arsenal’s interest in landing his signature this season.
Football League World’s Norwich City supporter Fred Garratt-Stanley has reacted to the news of Buendia being linked with a move to the Gunners.
“To the frustration of Norwich City fans, the speculation surrounding Arsenal’s interest in Emi Buendia continues to persist. The Argentine playmaker has been a revelation since his move to East Anglia from Spanish Second Division side Getafe in June 2018, and his outstanding technical ability has been evident throughout his three seasons in Norfolk.
“Blessed with startlingly effortless close control, intricate, skilful footwork and an outrageously varied passing ability, Buendia is a glorious player to watch. This season, the welcome addition of a substantial goalscoring tally to his game has only increased the value of the diminutive midfielder. Currently, his return for 2020-21 stands at seven goals and six assists in 19 appearances.
“Given that in last season’s Premier League only Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish and Trent Alexander-Arnold created more chances than the South American magician, it is difficult to argue with the assertion that the 24-year-old is his division’s most gifted creative talent. Arsenal’s keen interest comes as no surprise to most City fans.”
It has recently been revealed that Norwich’s valuation of Buendia stands at £40million, and it remains to be seen as to whether Mikel Arteta’s side will be willing to match that anytime soon.
Garratt-Stanley felt as though the Canaries are in a strong position to keep hold of Buendia with this valuation in place heading into the second-half of this year’s campaign.
“Undoubtedly, Buendia would represent an extremely strong addition to the North London club, who currently sit in 11th place. With ground to make up in their quest for a European spot, Arsenal would certainly benefit from the creative contributions of a player dubbed ‘Football Heaven’ by some Canaries fans. However, if a move is to materialise, it is certain to cost the Gunners.
“As a young, immensely talented creative midfielder with proven Premier League quality and a contract tying him to Norwich until 2024, Buendia will unquestionably demand a substantial transfer fee. City’s valuation of £40m for the Argentine is completely reasonable given these factors, especially considering that his financial worth is only set to grow.
“Add to this the general rule that in January clubs end up paying over the odds for players, and that figure potentially inflates. However, even if such a fee were to be offered, I would argue that Norwich are in a strong position to resist the Gunners’ advances.”
The Norwich City supporter went on to admit that their impressive start to this year’s campaign will mean that it’s unlikely Buendia will leave the club during the January transfer window.
Daniel Farke’s side are currently sat top of the Championship table, and are well-placed to win promotion back into the Premier League at the first time of asking, following their relegation from the top-flight last season.
“Perched at the Championship’s summit and six points clear of 3rd-placed Bournemouth, Norwich City have entered the New Year as clear favourites for the league title. Added to the attacking flair and goalscoring quality of Buendia, Cantwell, Pukki and Aarons is an increased steeliness and defensive solidity.
“While other sides have kept more clean sheets or scored more goals, the Canaries have mastered the simple yet elusive art of simply winning games and seeing results over the line. Barring injuries in crucial positions, it is difficult to imagine City blowing their current advantage and slipping into the play-offs.
“Therefore, the chances of Arsenal persuading Buendia to jump ship this January are looking increasingly unlikely. The Argentine attacker’s current contract runs until 2024, and he has indicated no desire to leave before the job of securing promotion is done.
“Ultimately, if the Canaries’ No. 17 maintains his current form, he will be playing in the Premier League next season regardless of whether Arsenal snatch him. So thankfully for City fans, they may not be taking our Emi away just yet.”
Disclaimer: The views cast from various supporters in the Fan’s Voice series do not represent those of Football League World.