Following a successful transfer window that saw Aston Villa sign players in the calibre of Boubacar Kamara, Diego Carlos, and Philippe Coutinho, much was expected of Steven Gerrard’s side this season.
It hasn’t quite worked out this way, however, with just two Premier League wins from seven matches, European football drifts further away with every bad performance.
Despite strengthening the core of his squad, Gerrard may have some regrets about the transfer window. The need for another striker was a priority and with Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins scoring just three goals between them so far, it might be a decision that will haunt him.
One thing is for certain, not making a more concrete effort to bring in midfielder Yves Bissouma from Brighton and Hove Albion might prove to be one of the biggest things they rue this summer.
Villa had been linked with the midfielder since the start of the year and even made a bid of £25m for the player in January, which was rejected by Brighton.
Despite signing Kamara in the summer, Gerrard still wanted to add Bissouma to his squad, with 90min claiming that talks were ongoing.
A few weeks later, the Mali international signed for Tottenham Hotspur in a £25m deal, and not acting quicker to sign the player will still irk Gerrard, especially as he is an upgrade on Luiz, someone who will be out of contract next year.
Last season, Bissouma completed 89.7% of his passes compared to 83.3% for Luiz, while also succeeding with over 70% of his attempted dribbles which was much better than the Brazilian (42.9%), showing that the Spurs player is more comfortable in possession with the ball and his passing ability can be relied upon to start attacks.
Defensively, the 26-year-old proved why the likes of Villa and Spurs were looking to sign him, winning more tackles (50 to 43), completing a higher percentage of pressures (35.9% to 29.8%) and making nearly double the number of clearances (51 to 29) than Luiz throughout the campaign.
At £25m, Gerrard may well have landed himself a bargain, especially with the player being described as a “Rolls Royce” by former presenter Leon Mann. His qualities and attributes may have helped tighten up a Villa side who have conceded 11 goals in all competitions this season.
It will be a case of what might have been for the 42-year-old, especially if Bissouma showcases his talents in the Champions League with Spurs.