Emiliano Buendia was left out of the matchday squad as Aston Villa beat Stade Rennais 2-1 in their final pre-season friendly on Saturday evening.
As per Ashley Preece of Birmingham Live, the 25-year-old played a behind-closed-doors exhibition game against Fulham and was joined by Calum Chambers, Kaine Kesler Hayden and Tyrone Mings, so are this quartet going to be benched against Bournemouth next Saturday?
Buendia had a strong finish to last season, scoring two goals with two assists from his final six Premier League appearances, but the Argentine doesn’t appear to have his manager’s faith. Gerrard gave Leon Bailey the nod instead of Buendia on Saturday and saw his decision pay off with the 24-year-old scoring his third goal in pre-season.
Gerrard prefers a narrow look to his side and doesn’t operate with natural wingers, so Bailey will have to undergo a positional shift if he’s to be a regular. The Jamaican international has faith from Gabriel Agbonlahor that he can be versatile enough to carry out his manager’s instructions, but what does that mean for Buendia?
The 25-year-old scored four goals with six assists from 34 games last season, so he does have a lot to prove.