How much is City star Buendia worth in the current transfer market?
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As Emi Buendia lights the fuse on a possible Norwich City exit, what can Canaries fans learn from the transfer fees which have persuaded their Championship rivals to part with their stars recently?
It was expected to be a quieter transfer window overall, as clubs deal with the financial impact of the three-month suspension of last season and matches without spectators due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, Premier League clubs have still been splashing some cash, ahead of the European transfer window closing at 11pm on Monday, October 5 - although a further opportunity for clubs in England and Wales to complete domestic deals continues until 5pm on Friday, October 16.
Some big reported deals have been secured by clubs in the second tier so far during this transfer window as well, with Bournemouth and Watford the most relevant clubs to focus on first, after they were relegated from the Premier League alongside City.
Bournemouth smashed their previous club record for a sale when Nathan Ake joined Manchester City for a reported £40million at the start of last month.
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The former Chelsea defender is 25 years old and an established international for Holland, with almost 150 top-flight appearances to his name, so it was little surprise to see him go for a big fee. He had two years remaining on his contract, having joined the Cherries in 2017 for around £20m.
City’s former Argentina Under-20 international Buendia is under contract until 2024 and, at 23 years old, despite ripping up the Championship during 2018-19 is not yet a fully established top level player like Ake.
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One goal and seven assists from 36 games in the Premier League hinted at his potential but overall the former Real Madrid trainee wasn’t quite able to have the impact many Canaries fans had hoped for.
Having said that, England striker Callum Wilson left the Cherries for Newcastle for around £20m, with 42 Premier League goals on his CV and with three years still to run on his contract.
After eight goals for a team that were relegated and at 28 years old, that could well prove a bargain for the Magpies - after a debut goal in their win at West Ham on Saturday.
Bournemouth have also sold England U21 goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale back to Sheffield United for a reported £18.5m, having bought him from the Blades for just £1m in 2017.
The 22-year-old returned from a League One loan at AFC Wimbledon to play all but one of the Cherries’ games in the Premier League last season - although the deal is said to include a 15 percent sell-on fee as well.
The only major sale by Norwich so far - where there isn’t immediate financial pressure to sell - was of Northern Ireland left-back Jamal Lewis to Newcastle, in a deal understood to be worth an initial £15m, with potential add-on fees.
So can City fans expect a deal starting at upwards of £20m for an eye-catching attacking talent like Buendia?
Aston Villa have just broken their club record to sign Ollie Watkins from Brentford for a reported £28m, which could rise to £33m. Watkins is a year older than the Argentine and has scored consistently in the Championship for three seasons, but has no Premier League experience.
While QPR have reportedly received £16m from Crystal Palace for Ebere Eze, with another £4m potentially in add-ons and a 20pc sell-on fee.
The England U21 forward is six months younger than Buendia and had flourished last season with 14 goals and eight assists in the Championship - but only had a year remaining on his contract.
Other big deals have seen Watford sell experienced midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure to Everton for around £25m and Nottingham Forest right-back Matty Cash head to Aston Villa for an initial £16m, while an anomaly is provided by Borussia Dortmund paying £25m up front for Birmingham’s 17-year-old midfield talent Jude Bellingham.
While if you take it back to 2018, Norwich were selling James Maddison to Leicester for an initial £21m - all of which means sporting director Stuart Webber probably wouldn’t even pick up the phone to discuss a deal which didn’t start at a minimum of £20m.
Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Leeds, Palace and Villa have all been put forward as interested clubs in the gossip columns this year, yet it seems that Buendia is poised to be involved as City host Preston in the Championship on Saturday, after completing a three-match ban for a red card towards the end of last season.
Which gives the tenacious playmaker just three matches to impress watching scouts and tease out those big bids - or it’ll be time to get his head down and start proving he’s too good for the Championship again.