Aston Villa plans avoided ‘shambles’ for Argentina duo


Alex McLeish has claimed Dean Smith will be “relieved” Aston Villa made plans to get Emi Buendia and Emi Martinez back from international duty early.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Villa boss warned things could become “shambolic” if measures were not taken to ensure international players are available for their clubs.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Villa chief executive Christian Purslow branded the situation surrounding the Argentina players “a mess”.

The Villa pair were part of a quartet the Brazilian government claim broke Covic-19 protocol.

Purslow insisted clubs would be “incredibly nervous” about releasing players for international duty moving forward.

Villa struck an agreement that will see Buendia and Martinez miss Argentina’s qualifier against Bolivia to avoid the need for quarantine in the UK.

As such, the duo will miss just one game, the visit to Chelsea, through self-isolation.

McLeish applauded his old side for adjusting to the demands of the pandemic.

McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Dean will be relieved. It’s good that they’re able to adjust during this pandemic.

“God knows if, if we hadn’t put some rules into place and adjusted in other ways, it would be an absolute shambles.

“It would be shambolic, we could players out all over the place. It would be in reserve teams you’d be watching.

“Young players who are at home and haven’t been abroad or been in contact with anybody. You could foresee a Premier League of academy players.”



Health authorities caused the abandonment of the game between Brazil and Argentina after storming the pitch.

Buendia and Martinez will reportedly train in Croatia for 10 days before returning to the UK.

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