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Aston Villa: Steven Gerrard suffers Douglas Luiz injury setback before Brighton

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard has suffered a major injury blow before his side’s Premier League clash against Brighton today.

What’s the story?

The former Rangers boss will take charge of his first game with his new club when the Seagulls come to town this afternoon, but the 41-year-old will be without the services of one of his team’s midfield lynchpins in Douglas Luiz.

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The Brazilian picked up a thigh problem ahead of the game against West Ham three weeks ago and has missed the last two games in the Premier League as a result, and it appears that he will not make it back for the visit of Brighton either.

Major setback for Gerrard

While Villa’s poor run of form has cast a dark cloud over the club in recent weeks, Luiz’s performances as a whole has actually been one of the rare shining lights.

While last season was a bit of a difficult one for the Brazilian – as per WhoScored, his average match rating of 6.67 was only good enough to rank him 15th in the entire Villa squad – his start to the current campaign has been outstanding.

In fact, his average rating of 7.0 is the best of any Villa player, and he continues to be a cornerstone of the midfield. Last term saw him play 33 out of the possible 38 Premier League games as the Midlands club finished just outside the top ten.

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

The Athletic’s Gregg Evans shed some light on the situation and revealed: “They expected more interest in Douglas Luiz, too. Strong messages that Manchester City were ready to activate a buy-back clause found their way to members of the Villa hierarchy, and for some time they were preparing for such an outcome.

“Villa were also open to moving Luiz on elsewhere and at the right price, but there wasn’t enough interest… Roma continue to be linked with Luiz and if they come in strong during the January window, Villa will be in a good position to get a higher transfer fee should his form remain at this high level.”

In fact, in a recent poll on Football FanCast, 73% of Villa fans who answered said that they would not sell Luiz this summer (181 votes to 66) – an indication of just how concerning it would be were the Brazilian to make the move to Roma or somewhere else.

Given the 23-year-old’s importance to this Villa side, Gerrard will surely be gutted at not having Luiz to call upon for his first game in charge of the club against Brighton later today.

Meanwhile, Villa must finally sign this long-term transfer target…

Article title: Aston Villa: Steven Gerrard suffers Douglas Luiz injury setback before Brighton

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