Arsenal are now considering reviving the Gunners’ interest in the transfer of Emiliano Buendia of Aston Villa as boss Mikel Arteta targets a solid understudy to Bukayo Saka.

That is according to Football Transfers, which reports that Arsenal’s interest in the transfer of Buendia has never faded. Aston Villa edged the Gunners for a deal with Norwich City for the 26-year-old in June 2021. The winger has since gained a key role for the Birmingham outfit.

Aston Villa paid Norwich an initial £33m, rising to £40m with add-ons, to sign Buendia. They also agreed to give the Canaries a sell-on clause to agree a transfer. The one-cap Argentine had just won the 2020/21 Championship Player of the Year award after his sensational term.

Emiliano Buendia of Aston Villa celebrates with Calum Chambers amid interest from Arsenal in his transfer
Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

Why Pele Is Overrated.

Arteta eyes Buendia’s transfer to backup Saka at Emirates Stadium

The English Football League (EFL) identified Buendia’s role in helping Norwich win a second Championship title. He hit 15 goals and 17 assists in 39 appearances in the division. Buendia has since hit nine goals and eight assists in 73 Premier League games for Aston Villa in total.

Now, Arteta is considering reviving his interest in Buendia’s transfer to Arsenal as he believes the Aston Villa ace could backup Saka at Emirates Stadium. The Gunners boss is keen to find a stronger understudy for the England international after relying heavily on Saka last season.

Arsenal transfer target Emiliano Buendia in action against Bukayo Saka
Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Saka was one of the integral talismans for Arsenal’s Premier League title challenge. But their hopes of lifting the title in 2022/23 fell away as the 21-year-old’s form fell away near the end of the term. Saka only scored two of his 14 goals for the season in his final 10 appearances.

Buendia could offer Arsenal depth with a transfer from Aston Villa

Arteta only left Saka out of his starting line-up once, however, having also laid on 11 assists over 3,194 minutes. But the Arsenal boss feels a transfer with Aston Villa for Buendia could allow him to rest Saka more often. It will be even more important in the Champions League.

Arsenal transfer target Emiliano Buendia in action for Aston Villa against Fulham in Premier League
Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

Buendia’s output for Aston Villa is hardly anything to suggest he will be a serious challenger to Saka for Arsenal’s starting line-up. But the Argentine could offer Arteta depth next season as the Gunners push for honours in multiple competitions given Gabby Agbonlahor’s praise.

“He has been outstanding,” Agbonlahor told talkSPORT back in April. “He didn’t get as much game-time under Steven Gerrard as he would have liked. But under [Unai] Emery, he is [the] first pick. He is just a pain, he gets into little holes [and] he is very good with his passing.”

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