Aston Villa lost their third league game in their last six as they were beaten 1-0 by relegation-threatened Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon.
It was a poor display from the entire Villa team, with Birmingham Live’s Ashley Preece calling the performance “the worst they’ve been under Gerrard”.
However, midfielder Douglas Luiz had a particularly difficult afternoon on Tyneside.
According to SofaScore, the Brazilian was the joint-worst player on the pitch (alongside goalkeeper Emi Martinez), picking up a 6.4/10 rating as he won just a third of his duels. Moreover, the 23-year-old was dribbled past on three occasions whilst failing to complete a dribble of his own, also losing the ball 14 times.
The West Midlands side didn’t create much going forward, but the only shot on target for the visitors came through Luiz, who should have done better with his effort.
From a defensive aspect, the midfielder was certainly below par, failing to record a single clearance or block whilst making just one interception and two tackles.
Luckily for the Brazilian, his poor display won’t amount to any serious consequences, with Steven Gerrard having limited options in midfield bar the currently preferred trio of Luiz, John McGinn and youngster Jacob Ramsey, who also struggled after such a strong display against Leeds on Wednesday night.
However, little positivity can be read into the performance of a player who has enjoyed another strong season for Aston Villa this term, making 19 league appearances whilst averaging an 84% passing accuracy, with 1.1 interceptions, 1.9 tackles and 0.7 clearances per game.
Moreover, the 23-year-old was heavily linked with moves to both Arsenal and Tottenham during the January transfer window, with The Athletic reporting that a deadline day bid for the Brazilian was rejected.
Luiz’s quality is certainly recognised by those outside of the West Midlands based on that transfer interest, but the midfielder needs to ensure that he shows it on a consistent basis.