Aston Villa made the bold call to keep hold of Douglas Luiz in the summer transfer window in a decision that may have cost the club £25m.
Liverpool and Arsenal were both heavily linked with the Brazilian on deadline day but Steven Gerrard was clearly keen to keep him at Villa Park for the rest of the season, as he looks to improve on a disappointing start to the new Premier League campaign.
Unfortunately for the Villa boss, Luiz will reportedly now walk away from the club on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of this season, with a move to another Premier League side seemingly on the cards.
Arsenal reportedly offered £25m for the former Manchester City man on deadline day as they looked to bolster their midfield options but Johan Lange stood firm and rejected the Gunners’ approaches, despite the midfield addition of Leander Dendoncker from Wolves.
Since signing from City, Luiz has gone on to make 117 appearances for the Villans, in which he has contributed seven goals and eight assists during a smattering of eye-catching displays.
He was a mainstay in Villa’s side last season, making 34 appearances in the top flight and averaging a solid 6.77 rating from WhoScored, which ranked him as the seventh-best performer in Gerrard’s squad, so it is easy to see why the former Rangers boss wanted to keep him.
Gerrard said: “I would like to keep him – he’s a fantastic player and I’ve made that abundantly clear. We are not in a position to lose top players.”
Former Villa favourite Gabby Agbonlahor is also a big fan of the 24-year-old midfielder, as he sang his praises last season, saying:
“The last two games Douglas Luiz has been very good. He’s flying forward and getting into the box. He’s been outstanding and transformed.”
Irrespective of how good he has been in Villa colours, with many seemingly holding him in high regard, it’s a decision that could come back to bite them from a financial point of view.
Indeed, it appeared as though the Brazilian’s stock was high this summer and after scoring directly from a corner against the Gunners and versus Bolton, there was no better evidence of his remarkable talent.
Unfortunately for Villa supporters, it seems as if this season will be the last they see of Luiz in claret and blue colours, and Lange’s bold decision to keep him on deadline day may well have backfired and cost the club £25m, which they could have invested into a new midfielder who actually sees his long-term future at Villa Park.