Aston Villa missed out on a potential upgrade on Douglas Luiz in the shape of USA international Weston McKennie.
The Athletic claimed earlier in the summer transfer window that the midfielder was on the radar for Villa, and that the Premier League side were one of a number of clubs interested in luring him away from Germany.
However, McKennie ended up joining Serie A giants Juventus on a season-long loan instead, with the 22-year-old himself recently explaining why a move to English football didn’t happen.
He said: “In general, I can say that my dream was to go to the Premier League but when Juventus called me, with these players, with this staff, with (Andrea) Pirlo on the bench, they immediately intrigued me. A club that wins is a great challenge. they are the best in the world, it’s perfect for my goals.”
With Douglas Luiz usually occupying one of the holding midfield spots, whether as part of a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3, Dean Smith has tasked the Brazilian with sweeping up opposition attacks and helping to set the tempo of the game whilst in possession too.
And the 22-year-old has done that well, even earning himself another couple of appearances for Brazil’s senior side over the international break.
But when compared to McKennie, there’s a real argument to be made that Villa may have missed out on a potential upgrade on the former Manchester City man.
As per Whoscored, McKennie has proven himself to be a far more destructive anchor man, averaging more tackles and interceptions per game (1.4 and 1.6) than Luiz (1.3 and 1.1) last season. The American also appears to be more progressive in possession too, better his key passes per game numbers as well (0.6 to 0.5).