Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard is risking his first howler in charge of the club amid Arsenal’s reported interest in Douglas Luiz.

What’s the story?

Reports in recent days have suggested that the Gunners are interested in signing the Brazil international in this January transfer window as they look to bolster their midfield options, and Gerrard has now admitted that no talks over a new contract have begun.

He said: “No, we haven’t opened contract talks yet with Douglas. I think in this period and in this window, it has been the case of trying to strengthen the current squad, make additions and, also, find destinations for some of our younger players in terms of loans.

“We still think that there’s room for him to get better and improve. We rate the player extremely high and we’re hoping from now until the end of the season, he can really perform at his best and help the team moving forward.”

Villa fans will be fuming

Reports over the course of the summer suggested that Serie A giants AS Roma were also interested in signing the Brazil international, but a move failed to materialise.

Having stayed put, Luiz has since gone on to enjoy a fine campaign in the Premier League thus far, with his average match rating of 6.91 as per Whoscored being the second-best of any Villa player to have started more than two games.

The Brazilian continues to be a cornerstone of the midfield under Gerrard just like he was when Dean Smith was in charge, with last term seeing him play 33 out of the possible 38 Premier League games as the Midlands club finished just outside the top ten.

Speaking back in 2020, The Athletic journalist Gregg Evans, said of him: “He’s an absolute joy to watch now and I never thought I would be saying that. Villa have got a fantastic player in Douglas Luiz now, he looks like an absolute star, he could have played in that Man United team.”

In fact, in a poll done on Football FanCast back in June, 73% of Villa fans who answered said that they would not sell Luiz this summer (182 votes to 66).

Letting Luiz go, especially on a potential cut-price deal given his contract situation, and that too to a fellow Premier League side like Arsenal, would be a major howler on the part of Gerrard and surely leave Villa fans fuming.

Meanwhile, Gerrard could end the transfer window on a high with this man…





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