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Martinez and Buendia set for Aston Villa return after international shambles

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith will assess Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia on Saturday on their return to the UK before he names his side to face Everton

Brazil-Argentina qualifier suspended after health officials enter pitch

Emiliano Martinez is itching to take his frustrations from international duty out on Everton on Saturday when he dramatically jets in for the game.

Argentine keeper Martinez was one of the Premier League stars caught up in their farcical game in Brazil.

It was called off soon after kick-off when officials went on the field in a Covid row over Martinez and other compatriots from the UK, who health officials complained should be in quarantine.

The astonishing scenes weren’t the end of Martinez’s extended three week absence from Villa as he then went to Croatia to train and avoid hotel quarantine here.

Martinez, and his Villa team-mate Emiliano Buendia who didn’t feature against Brazil, are now both due to land back on Saturday after missing last weekend’s loss at Chelsea.

Asked whether Martinez was itching to play, Villa boss Dean Smith replied: “I think he will be.

“He went over there to play two games and he played one and five minutes of another one.



Emiliano Martinez is set to return in goal for Aston Villa against Everton
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Image:

PA)




“He has missed our Chelsea game so he’s looking forward now to coming back and playing at Villa Park.

“I’ll assess it and see how they both are.

“But we’ve been in touch with them all the way through.

“Our performance team have got all the numbers, physically of what they have done.

“They’ve given them programmes to work with and when they get here we’ll assess them.”

Martinez and Buendia were given permission to leave Villa for the first two of Argentina’s three scheduled qualifiers, despite the fixtures being in red-list countries.

The second of those matches, in Brazil, was abandoned and Martinez and Buendia then travelled to Croatia to use the facilities of Hajduk Split and were joined by their families.



Villa’s record scorer Emiliano Buendia is in line to return for Everton’s visit
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Image:

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Smith explained: “It was a route the players themselves chose.

“We agreed with that and made sure we spoke to the relevant authorities, whether it be governments or Premier League, to make sure it was the right thing to do.

“It is, and it was, and we’ll welcome them back to the club.”

Buendia was one of several new signings for Villa this summer in a reshuffle amid Jack Grealish’s £100million sale to Manchester City.

Other new permanent signings include Danny Ings, Ashley Young and Leon Bailey as Villa reinvested £90m.

They have all shown flashes of quality so far but so too has homegrown academy graduate Jacob Ramsey,20, who forced his way into the starting line up against Chelsea.



Villa boss Dean Smith sees a big future for academy graduate Jacob Ramsey, known as JJ
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Image:

Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images)




Smith added: “He is a really good player.

“He comes from a really good family because we have two of his brothers who are also in the system as well.

“When JJ ended up not being able to join the England U21s for Covid related reasons, his brother AJ got called into the U21s as well.

“We are blessed with Ramseys at the moment and long may that continue.

“We have some really good young players here coming through.

“We certainly won’t block a pathway for them.”


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