Emiliano Buendia has rubbished suggestions that he and Philippe Coutinho cannot play together at Aston Villa and reveals he is looking forward to linking up with the Brazilian.
Coutinho completed a loan deal at Villa from Barcelona for the rest of the season this week and could turn out for the Midlands club in their Premier League clash against Manchester United on Saturday.
The 29-year-old’s profile as an attacking midfielder who can play out wide has created claims that Coutinho will be rivalling £40million summer signing Buendia for a starting spot in Steven Gerrard’s team.
Emiliano Buendia insists he is not concerned about Philippe Coutinho’s arrival at Aston Villa
Brazilian attacker Coutinho completed a surprise loan from Barcelona at Villa Park this week
But Buendia has hailed Coutinho’s ‘quality’ and admits he is looking forward to learning off the Brazilian international.
‘Of course, a top, top player,’ Buendia told Sky Sports when asked about Coutinho. ‘He has shown his quality during his whole career – he was the best player at Liverpool.
‘He has shown what he can do in this league. He can bring a lot of quality to the squad and to the games, so it’s a really good opportunity for everyone here to play with him.
Buendia says he is looking forward to learning off Coutinho despite him playing the same role
‘Obviously, we are similar players, we want to create and dribble – but we can play together with our team’s style and formation. We are quite flexible to play in different roles and positions.
‘So yes, we can play together and I hope to, because I can learn a lot from a player like him.’
The next few months will be crucial for Buendia, who is looking to seal a spot in Argentina’s World Cup squad at the end of the year.
Buendia is targeting a call-up to Argentina’s World Cup squad by the end of the calendar year
The 25-year-old is yet to be capped by his country but has received a couple of squad call-ups – and is relishing the chance to play alongside Lionel Messi at a major tournament.
‘Of course I want the opportunity to play in the national team with players like Messi – for me, he’s the best player in the world,’ Buendia added. ‘I’ve trained with him twice when involved with the national team.
‘But I’m really looking forward to being involved again. It’s a great year because we have the World Cup, and I’m really working hard to do my best at the club and then, hopefully, having another chance with Argentina.’