Date: 12th July 2019 at 1:15pm
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Aston Villa’s summer spending could be about to surpass the gigantic £100m figure over the weekend with deals for £7m-rated defender Bjorn Engels and £15m-rated defensive midfielder Douglas Luiz on the horizon. The signing of the latter has put many fans at Villa Park feeling ecstatic about their Premier League prospects next season.

Luiz is Brazil under-23 captain but hasn’t made a single appearance for the Premier League champions since joining from Vasco da Gama on a five-year contract in 2017. The 21-year-old is thought to be highly regarded by Pep Guardiola but hasn’t been able to feature for him due to ongoing work permit concerns. Last summer, the Football Association declined to grant the Brazilian a work permit therefore he returned to La Liga outfit Girona on loan.

The defensive midfielder has impressed during his time in Spain – where he has made 46 appearances over the course of two seasons. His performance against giants Real Madrid particularly caught the eye of Spanish pundit Guillem Balague:

“This was a guy perhaps many people don’t know about but Guardiola wanted to keep him at Manchester City, when he couldn’t get Jorginho.

“This is someone that Tite wants as the number four of Brazil. He can play in different positions and he was playing a bit further forward for Girona, but this is a top, top midfielder.”

Balague added: “He releases the ball with quality, has a good engine and has quality with the ball. Given the opportunity, he will be one of the top midfielders in Europe.”

It is likely that Luiz slides straight into Dean Smith’s midfield next season – possibly putting an end to a move for Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips, who Villa have been priced out of signing with his £30m price tag.

You can read the reaction of some of the Villa fans on their new signing below:


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