When Manchester City allowed Douglas Luiz to join Aston Villa in 2019, it perhaps always seemed likely that the Brazilian would return once he started performing in the Premier League.
The Daily Star have reported recently that the Citizens are exploring the option of bringing him back to the club in January, following his impressive recent performances for Aston Villa.
Issues with the defensive midfielder’s work permit prevented him from making an appearance for the Citizens’ first-team during his time at the club and he opted to join Dean Smith’s side in a £15 million deal last summer (per BBC Sport).
Luiz joined City from Vasco da Gama in 2017 and after a two-year loan spell with Spanish side Girona, he finally departed for Villa, where he was able to secure a work permit.
Since then, the Brazilian has gone on to make 50 appearances for the Birmingham-based club, in which he has contributed three goals and four assists (per Transfermarkt).
His performances with Villa were enough to see him earn a call-up to the Brazilian national side, and he made his debut for Selecao in November of last year.
So far this season, the 22-year-old has appeared in all seven of Villa’s Premier League fixtures, in which he has provided one assist, with his performances earning him a solid average rating of 6.84 (per WhoScored).
Smith suggested last season that following the restart of the Premier League, the Brazilian had been “unbelievable” (per Hampshire Live), so he clearly holds him in high regard.
Unfortunately for the English manager, if City opt to activate their reported buy-back clause for Luiz, then there may not be much Aston Villa can do to keep him.
The youngster is perhaps touted as a long-term replacement for Fernandinho, with the 35-year-old’s best years certainly behind him now, and if he can have anywhere near the sort of impact the former Shakhtar Donetsk man has had during his time with the Citizens, then it will surely prove to be a good decision to bring him back.
If his impressive performances with the Villans continue, it certainly would not be a surprise to see him return to the blue half of Manchester in the near future.