ASTON VILLA have suffered a major blow ahead of Saturday's Premier League season opener at Newcastle United with midfielder Emiliano Buendia suffering a “significant knee ligament injury”.

The 26-year-old Argentina international faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after sustaining the injury during training on Wednesday.

He has undergone a scan and is set for further consultation with a knee specialist.

“Aston Villa can confirm Emi Buendia has suffered a significant knee ligament injury,” read a club statement.

Buendia has scored nine goals in 73 Premier League appearances for Villa since joining from Norwich in 2021 for a reported £33million.

His injury is major blow to manager Unai Emery, whose side begin the new season at Newcastle on Saturday and will play in the Europa Conference League this term.