In a recent interview with Football Insider, ex-Premier League star Alan Hutton was full of praise for Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz and urged his former club to not let the player go on the cheap amid recent interest from Manchester City. Hutton said, “I think ever since Project Restart, he’s (Douglas Luiz) come back and he’s been on fire since. He is really that guy that sits, breaks up and allows all the other players to go and do what they need to do.
“It’s real unselfish work he does but he’s got such a big role to play within the team. Obviously, Man City bought him, didn’t they, and they couldn’t get him to play because of the work permit and they have that clause where they could buy him back. He’s obviously got the links there from before.
“He’s playing excellently well, just like everyone in the Villa squad at the moment, so people are going to be looking, especially thinking they can maybe pick him up for for a little bit cheaper.
“I think the way he’s playing, as I say he’s so key to Villa, they won’t be wanting to lose him on the cheap, that’s for sure.”
Douglas’ Exceptional Form At Villa Park This Season
The Brazilian international has made a sensational start to this campaign as he has been responsible for putting in a handful of eye-catching performances at the heart of Dean Smith’s midfield. Douglas has picked up a couple of assists in eight appearances for the West Midlands outfit this term on all fronts.
The 22-year-old has done a bit of everything at the centre of the park based on his average of 1.0 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 0.9 clearances, 0.7 shots, 0.9 key passes and 0.6 dribbles per game in the Premier League thus far. He has also taken care of the ball when distributing it from midfield as evidenced by his pass success rate of 83.1% in the English first division this season (stats via whoscored).
What Does The Brazilian Midfield Ace Bring To The Table?
Douglas is a tough-tackling midfielder who works hard towards providing adequate protection for his teammates at the back. He is often quick to react to the danger and can pull off some crucial interceptions and clearances for his team.
The two-time Brazilian international can also retain possession well in midfield and packs a lot of power with his strikes from long range. However, standing at 1.78m, he is not the tallest of players and can be outjumped by the opposition quite easily which can sometimes make him an area of weakness for his team when defending set-pieces.
Why Smith Needs To Keep Hold Of Douglas For The Long-Run
Despite his aerial shortcomings, Douglas deserves credit for establishing himself as one of the top performers of Smith’s first-team over the past 18 months. He is currently contracted at Villa Park until the summer of 2023, so the Villans would be under no pressure to cash in on him any time soon.
However, if Man City decide to come in with a big-money bid for him next summer, then Smith could be tempted to entertain the possibility of sanctioning Douglas’ return to the Etihad Stadium. With all things considered, the Midlands giants should look to keep hold of the Brazilian midfield ace for as long as possible because he could potentially double or even triple his value if he can continue showing signs of improvement under Smith’s stewardship in the coming seasons.