The Birmingham Mail’s Ashley Preece has dropped an Aston Villa update on Douglas Luiz that will be of major relief to Dean Smith.
The midfielder was unavailable for Villa’s opening day defeat to Watford in the Premier League, with the manager confirming his absence ahead of the game.
He said: “Douglas will be coming back in on Monday, hopefully with his gold medal around his neck and he’ll get a good welcome from everybody. I’ve been really pleased with what he’s done at the Olympics and I’m proud of him.”
Now, Preece has delivered a major boost to Villa by confirming that Luiz has not been called up to the Brazil senior squad for next month’s international games, thus giving him a chance to rest a little longer.
He said: “Good news for #avfc: Douglas Luiz has been given some much-needed respite knowing Brazil coach Tite has left him out of next month’s WC qualifiers with Chile, Argentina & Peru. Brazil’s 25-man squad does feature as many as 6 fellow gold medal winners from Tokyo, incl Richarlison.”
After his exploits with Brazil over the summer led to his country winning the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, it was always going to be the case that Luiz would struggle to make it back in time for the first game of the Premier League season.
Having played 33 out of the possible 38 Premier League games last term, Luiz was a cornerstone of a Villa midfield that saw them finish just outside of the top ten.
Seeing him then head to the Olympics and another summer of action would’ve left Smith anxious about the kind of toll that would put on Luiz’s body – that’s not to mention the fact he would miss pre-season and spend the first couple of weeks back just getting back up to fitness and potentially missing a few games too.
This extra rest gives the Brazilian some much-needed time to recuperate and recharge his batteries, and almost become his own version of pre-season, staying behind at Villa Park and no doubt doing some extra fitness work with the coaches.
Preece’s latest update is sure to have Smith buzzing.