It's not just Mikel Arteta who is a fan of Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz; Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is too.
Luiz was heavily linked with a move away from the Midlands on Deadline Day, with Arsena l keen to get a deal over the line. Despite the 24-year-old only having 12 months left on his current contract, the two teams could not agree on a transfer fee and the Brazilian stayed put at Villa Park.
The Gunners could go back in for the former City man in January when his asking price will be even lower in a move that Guardiola would almost certainly approve of. The Spaniard spoke highly of the star following a game between City and Villa in 2021.
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"He’s a guy who's played a lot of minutes, he's an important player for Aston Villa," he said after the game. "A guy who's clever with the ball, he's so physical and strong.”
Guardiola continued by explaining that he was encouraged by Luiz’s development at Villa Park, having allowed him to leave the Etihad in 2019.
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"He's a lovely guy, unfortunately when he came, due to the work permit, he could not play. I'm happy he's developing really, really well. Today, when he was involved in the game defensively, he was good," he added.
For the time being Luiz remains an Aston Villa player. Ahead of their game against City on Saturday night, Villans boss Steven Gerrard confirmed that he had spoken to the Brazilian about Arsenal's pursuit of him.
"I’ve got confidence that he’ll understand the situation and the club’s decision," he said. "We didn’t want to lose a very important player and a top player so late in the window. From a personal point of view I very much back the club’s stance on that.
"I spoke to him face-to-face yesterday and he understood where we were at and the position the club was in. He very much respects the decision so hopefully it will calm down in the hours and days to follow and he’ll be fine moving forward."
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