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Douglas Luiz: On a Path to Greatness with Villa or Elsewhere

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In many ways, Douglas Luiz has become “Mr. Aston Villa.” The fans love him, his teammates value his talent and energy, and his manager is full of praise for him. By signing a new contract last October amidst interest from Arsenal, he further endeared himself to the club and Villa supporters. At May’s post-season club awards, Douglas Luiz walked away with both the Supporter’s Player of the Season and Player’s Player of the Season titles – further evidence of how highly the Villa family regard him.

Arsenal is now ready to try and pry Douglas Luiz away from Birmingham again in the upcoming transfer window. Fresh rumours abound that Mikel Arteta’s interest isn’t waning and that the ex-Man City midfielder will be the subject of a big-money transfer bid from The Gunners come January. Knowledgeable transfer insider Fabrizio Romano stated the following in CaughtOffside:

“I mentioned the name of Douglas Luiz last week as the top target for Arsenal, and I can confirm guys that Arsenal really, really want and appreciate Douglas Luiz. He’s a player they’ve had on their list for more than two years, and Arsenal consider him the perfect midfielder for their way of playing, for his intensity and for the quality he can bring.

So many different factors make him top of the list for Arsenal now. The problem remains that Aston Villa have no intention to let him go in January, so it’s going to be really difficult.”

With Arsenal’s Thomas Partey plagued by injury, Jorginho has had to carry the central midfield role in the lion’s share of Arsenal’s important fixtures. Neither he nor Mohamed Elneny are getting younger, so the fitter, stronger and more youthful Douglas Luiz would provide a ready-made replacement at the Emirates.

It’s unlikely that Aston Villa will let one of its star players leave easily. As we’ve mentioned, manager Unai Emery is a big fan, with Douglas Luiz at the centre of the engine room around which the Spaniard has built the ever-improving Villans. And he’s an excellent penalty taker as well.

Figures touching the £60m mark are being mentioned as a fair price to secure the Brazilian’s services. That’s already a far cry from the reported £25m Arsenal bid last year. Without a doubt, the Douglas Luiz star is still on the rise in the football universe, with the additional time he’s spent with the tactically astute Emery on the training field improving as a player every day.

Two questions connected to the Douglas Luiz transfer saga are the most pertinent. Firstly, would £60m be enough to pry away Aston Villa’s midfield supremo? And secondly, does the player want to leave?

We know that Mikel Arteta has the funds available to afford another major player. In the grand scheme of things though, what value does Aston Villa assign to Douglas Luiz – in real terms, not only financial ones?

Remember that, as things stand, Villa sits fifth in the English Premier League. Using odds drawn from recommendations on the best sites for betting in the UK, the team’s odds for the Premier League title are 150/1. Aston Villa is also in an excellent position to qualify from the Europa Conference League group stage, with its 7/2 odds on offer to win the competition making The Villans the outright favourites.

With the form Aston Villa has shown in both competitions, there’s a distinct chance of greater things on the club’s horizon. How much of that form can we ascribe to Douglas Luiz’s role in the Aston Villa squad, and can the club afford to lose him, whatever the price?

Villa’s November Player of the Month also appears very happy in Birmingham. Until recently, Douglas Luiz was involved in a year-long relationship with Villans’ Women’s forward Alisha Lehmann. In fact, reports of a split in one of football’s power couples are so recent that there is no way of telling how, or if, the couple’s relationship status could affect any future decisions the Villa star makes career-wise.

Right now, Douglas Luiz is an Aston Villa player and an important one at that. With over a month remaining before the January transfer window opens, Villa fans will enjoy his consistent contributions to the club in the hope that nothing changes in the near future.

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