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:
The man to fill Fernandinho's boots? ???? pic.twitter.com/5XweEtQ2kn
— Eleven Sports (@ElevenSports_UK) February 19, 2019
“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:
Where did this Douglas Luiz deal come from?! Potentially a great signing! #avfc
— Joel Rawlin (@Joel_Rawlin) July 12, 2019
If Douglas Luiz signs for #AVFC, its essentially going to be a loan.
Man City hold all the cards for this deal, so presumably the buy-back clause will be a modest amount, giving Villa £5-10m profit, and then getting a player with a work permit.
Still a good deal for Villa ????
— Rob Prince (@Robbb182) July 12, 2019
The turnaround in emotions of Vill fans in exactly 12 months is astonishing. Couldn’t be more excited for the season ahead ????????
— Dan B (@danbeasley1) July 12, 2019
Has a lot of top division (Ligue 1 & La Liga) experience for a 21yr old – fits the DS model of transfer well and a Brazilian colleague for Wesley to boot if we close this one #AVFC
— Villa19/20 (@19Villa18) July 12, 2019
If this does happen then we have just bought one hell of a player box to box midfielder with dynamite in his boots wow Deano you little minx UTV❤️⚽️????????
— jon cunniffe (@CunniffeJon) July 12, 2019
— Jordan J MacGeever (@j_macgeever) July 12, 2019
If Luiz and Trezeguet do come in I think this team is easily good enough to stay up, looking at the other teams in the lower half of the league #AVFC
— Al (@alexav_utv) July 12, 2019
Much prefer the excitement of signing Douglas Luiz from man city than the drawn out saga of kalvin phillips from leeds! Even if he is a bit of an unknown entity. Hopefully put that chase to bed now! #avfc
— Ashley Fowler (@Superfowler07) July 12, 2019
#avfc approach fascinating. Can’t get Axel, Konsa has similar attributes. Phillips expensive, here’s Luiz. Engels very similar to Webster by all accounts. Don’t know loads about these players, but it seems like the scouting teams do.
— Alex Berwick (@Alex_Berwick) July 12, 2019
£15m fee ????
Buy-back clause ????
21 years old ????
— AVFCchats (@AVFCchats) July 12, 2019