Our “Prospecting The Prospects” series returns for 2019-20!
This is where we run the rule over the of FPL prospects of some who will enter the game next season. This series analyses a selection of these newcomers to the FPL game by simulating how they would have performed using last season’s stats (wherever they played) as if they had been in FPL, then providing our evaluation of the player as an asset ahead of the coming period.
On June 8th 2017, Norwich City picked up young right winger Emiliano “Emi” Buendia from La Liga outfit Getafe.
— Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) June 8, 2019
Buendia cost Norwich a comparative snip at £1.5m, but the reported £5m promotion clause windfall was certainly a nice bonus for the selling side.
A relative unknown at the time, a year on the 22-year-old is now a firm favourite for Canaries fans and is due to have his crack at the Premier League.
So, how good is Buendia? Will he figure in our FPL teams this year? Let’s use Whoscored data to find out:
Prospecting The Prospects
Appearances: 35 appearances + 3 under 60 mins = 76 points
Goals: 8 goals (8×5) = 40 points
Assists: 12 assists (12×3) = 36 points
Clean Sheets: 10 cs = 10 points
Disciplinary: 6 yellow cards, 1 red card: -8 points
Raw point total: 154
Bonus (n.b. skippable – just a record to show I haven’t made it up)
To give an estimation of the bonus points he would have got, we’ve reviewed the games he would have delivered points in to come to a rough number.
We’ve done this by researching match performance and allocating probable bonus depending on how well he did.
3rd Oct – 1-1 draw with Derby, assisted the opener but good performances from the Rams’ Craig Bryson, Timm Klose and Moritz Leitner mean probably 0
23rd Oct – 2-1 win over Villa, assisted the equaliser; Jordan Rhodes scored a brace, and centre back James Chester scored for Villa, so he’d have duked it out with Marco Stiepermann and maybe nabbed 1
28th Oct – 1-0 win over Brentford, scored only goal, 3
3rd Nov – 4-0 win over Sheff Wed, goal but yellow carded – brace for Pukki and an assist and clean sheet for Max Aarons so maybe 1
10th Nov – 4-3 win over Milwall, assisted but 0
24th Nov – 4-1 win over Swansea, scored the winning goal and got MoTM – good performances from Pukki/Stiepermann but should have held out for 3
18th Jan – 3-1 win over Birmingham, brace of assists for Niko Vrancic and Tom Trybull – Trybull got motm but for quantity of returns Buendia may have nabbed all 3
10th Feb – 3-0 win over Ipswich, assisted both of Teemu Pukki’s brace meaning the Finn would take max bonus, but our man probably in for 2
16th Feb – 4-0 win over Bolton, scored 3rd but Pukki brace and assist and Stiepermann goal and assist would limit him to 1
2nd Mar – 3-1 win Milwall, another brace of assists for Zimmerman and Pukki; MoTM 3
8th Mar – 1-0 win over Swansea, scored winner but booking may have meant Zimmerman nabbed max, taking him to 2
13th Mar – 3-2 win v Hull, scored brace 3
6th April – 4-0 win over QPR, scored opener, assisted 2nd and 3rd, red in 71st min! Massive influence on game but red card would have diminished BPS to, at best, 1
27th April – 2-1 win Blackburn, assisted winner but Vrancic goal and assist and Stiepermann goal yet no cleanie may mean he gets 1
Guesstimated bonus from G/A: 14
Scores on the doors
That makes 168 points for Buendia’s season, which corresponds to a score of 4.8 points per game (PPG).
Scaling this to the Premier League’s 38 games, that equates to a total of 182 points.
Obvious caveats apply, but that places him around Ryan Fraser and Raul Jimenez in the top 10.
🎶 Emi Buendia, from Argentina…🎶 #ncfc
— Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) March 13, 2019
Playing for the Championship winning team as one of the main attacking fulcrums is always going to inflate the score, but it does seem like after an acclimatisation period the Argentinean was undoubtedly a core player for the Canaries.
He recorded 71 shots last season, 33 of which were in the box, alongside creating 91 chances (75 “short”) for his team mates. He also completed 55 of the 92 take-ons he attempted on the right flank he was almost always positioned on.
He also won 101 tackles last season, showing how he takes his defensive responsibilities seriously – that’s on par with the likes of Matt Ritchie.
However, starting with Ryan Fraser as a comparator for the kind of player Buendia is seems apt. We may have seen “peak WeeMan” with the astonishing talismanic output for the Scot making a mockery of his initial 5.5m price tag this year at Bournemouth, with 181 points scored from 7 goals and 14 assists. Statistically, Fraser took fewer shots overall than Buendia (51 v 71) but took a similar number in the box (28 v 33). He also created as similar amount of chances (92 v 91) for his team mates (primarily Wilson to miss). I suspect we won’t be seeing 181 points from Buendia, who will need to step up to playing Premier League defences, but the Scot perhaps provides the upper limit of what we can expect from a like kind of player in the 6.0m valuation bracket.
Buendia was apparently signed to fill James Maddison‘s position as playmaker, and certainly seems to have done the job for Norwich boss Daniel Farke. We looked at the Englishman for Prospecting the Prospects last season and, broadly, our 3* rating was proven right with a 137 point haul thanks to 7 goals and 7 assists this season. Maddison created more chances than any other midfielder last season with 99, which is on par with Buendia. It’s a question of if the Argentine can effect games to the same extent, and also if he has the quality of team mates around him to lift him upward – the likes of Jamie Vardy being at the end of Maddison passes upped the assist points scored, so can Pukki do the same is the question here.
A final comparison is the aforementioned Matt Ritchie, Newcastle’s newly anointed wing back. When he came up with the Magpies, we were very encouraged by his set-piece monopoly and rated him highly for Prospecting The Prospects (https://whogottheassist.com/prospecting-the-prospects-matt-ritchie/). However, of course it’s not quite turned out that way, as Ritchie returned 116 in 2017/18 and 110 last year. He’s managed 7-8 assists every season he’s been in the Premier League (including with Bournemouth in 2015/16), yet has never quite been able to get a bandwagon going. That kind of point return looks viable again for Buendia, who shares the mix of creativity and non-shirking of defensive responsibilities with born-again wing back Ritchie. Would we accept 110-15? Maybe – provided we own him when Canaries fixtures are good.
Of course, there are always cautionary tales such as Ryan Sessegnon (94 pts at 6.5m) to bear in mind when assessing these guys. As we said with Jack Grealish on this point, a sub-100 output would be disappointing but not without precedent. Pricing wise, Buendia being given a 6.0 cost puts him in the ballpark still of watch and wait, but at the price he may fill a hole in our squads if he can adjust to the Prem.
Norwich having Liverpool GW1, Chelsea GW3, Man City GW5 also reinforces the need for patience.
Buendia does look like he has the tools to step up, but the proof will be in the top flight performances. I find myself sitting on the fence again in terms of a rating. I’ll likely add him to my watchlist and see how he develops rather than buying for the opening gameweek.
Overall rating: 2.5 / 5 – An average prospect for FPL*
*derived from a completely subjective scale from 1-5, where 1 is bad and 5 is excellent
Disclaimer: we thoroughly accept this system of evaluating players isn’t flawless. Predicting how well a player will do is an inexact science, and there are many ways to do it. However, we feel that it’s a nice approach to getting a feel for how a player might do in FPL.