A pundit has claimed Aston Villa will ‘regret’ their decision to let Emi Buendia and Emi Martinez go on international duty.
The duo have joined up with Argentina ahead of their World Cup qualifiers against Venezuela, Brazil and Bolivia. UK quarantine rules mean Buendia and Martinez will have to isolate for ten days upon their return.
That means they will miss Villa’s Premier League clash against Chelsea on Saturday September 11. They will also be unavailable in the following game, which will see Rafa Benitez’s Everton travel to Villa Park.
Centre-back Tyrone Mings called the club’s decision ‘perfectly reasonable’, but pundit Paddy Kenny has some reservations.
He told Football Insider: “It’s a tough one because no player wants to miss playing for their country.
“That’s the pinnacle of their careers. But the club pays your wages, that’s your bread and butter.
“You’re going to miss games and it could cost your team league positions and money. Me personally, I think they will regret this.
“There are two big players there who are going to miss out against Chelsea.
“Maybe they are looking at this fixture thinking it’s one they’ve lost anyway. They might think it isn’t the end of the world losing that one.
“It’s a difficult one with everything that’s going on, it’s hard to say what’s right and what’s wrong. But your club football is your main concern.”
The decision means Dean Smith will likely have to rely on Englishman Jed Steer in goal.
But even without Buendia, Villa have a number of exciting attacking players. Danny Ings, Anwar El Ghazi and Jacob Ramsey could all start.
The international break has caused plenty of problems for the Premier League and its participants.
The league announced on August 25 that it had ‘reluctantly and unanimously’ agreed to prevent players from travelling to red list countries, including Argentina.
The situation means Liverpool stars Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino will not be able to represent their nations. Leeds winger Raphinha, who recently received his first call-up to the Brazil team, will also miss out.
However, Villa acted in defiance by allowing Buendia and Martinez to leave. They should return to the starting lineup for the club’s fixture against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup on September 22.
Hourihane leaves Aston Villa on loan
Republic of Ireland international Conor Hourihane has left Villa to join Sheffield United on loan.
On the transfer, Hourihane said: “I’m delighted to be here and cannot wait to get started.
“I’ve played against Sheffield United a few times and it is an exciting club to be involved in. The manager here [Slavisa Jokanovic] has a great reputation in the Championship, his Fulham team beat us in a play-off final a couple of years ago and I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Hourihane spent the second half of last season at Swansea, where he made 24 appearances in all competitions, scoring one goal.