'It's only a matter of time until he takes that step to the highest level' - Buendia mentor on City gem

Emi Buendia is pushing Norwich City towards the Premier League Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Emi Buendia is pushing Norwich City towards the Premier League Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Norwich City ace Emi Buendia is heading to the top, insists his previous club boss Rubén de la Barrera.

Buendia arrived at Carrow Road after an impressive loan stint with Spanish outfit Cultural Leonesa last season.

The 22-year-old was unable to keep Leon in the second division, but his eye-catching displays earned him a move to England, where is now a key figure in the Canaries’ Championship promotion push.

De la Barrera is convinced his former charge is made for the Premier League, as City look to seal the deal over the run in.

“The progress he has made this year doesn’t surprise me because, from my point of view, I think the move to Norwich was exactly what Emi needed after his time at Leon,” said de la Barrera, speaking to Skysports.

“He needed to put himself in another demanding situation, in a dressing room full of men and with less protection around him.

“I think the year at Leon, for what he experienced at a personal level as much as at a sporting level, gave him the motivation to take the next step, to leave his comfort zone and experience a totally different situation.

“If you ask me whether I can see Emi playing in the Premier League in the short-term, then my answer is absolutely yes.

“It’s only a matter of time until he takes that step into football of the highest level. That could be in the Premier League with Norwich, or in any other top league in Europe.”

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