He may not be Aston Villa’s sporting director anymore, but there’s no questioning that Suso’s work in signing Douglas Luiz on a permanent basis was a stroke of genius.
The Midlands club brought in the midfielder for £15m in the summer of 2019, and he has gone on to establish himself as a key part of Dean Smith’s side, both last season and at the beginning of this new one too.
He played 36 of Villa’s 38 Premier League games in the 2019/2020 campaign, and has started in every one of his side’s matches in the top-flight this season.
And after months of playing high-level football, Luiz finally picked up his second senior cap for Brazil on Saturday, as he was named in the starting line-up for the World Cup qualifying clash against Bolivia.
In a resounding 5-0 victory, it was the Villa ace who arguably stole the show, running things in the middle of the park and proving what an absolute steal he was for his club side.
Lining up in a midfield three alongside Real Madrid and Barcelona stars Casemiro and Philippe Coutinho respectively, Luiz controlled the tempo of the game, recycling possession and playing it with precision both short and long.
As per Sofascore, he had a game-high 107 touches, and also boasted another game-high of a 95% passing accuracy. The key thing to note is that Luiz didn’t just try and keep things simple or play it safe.
Instead, he always looked to probe and move the ball forward, delivering two key passes (only Casemiro had more with three), and successfully completing all five of his attempted long balls.
Hailed as “outstanding” by Villa boss Smith, Luiz’s exceptional display for a star-studded Brazil proved once and for all that he is the real deal, and that Suso delivered a masterclass by signing him for just £15m last summer.