Gabby Agbonlahor has suggested that Aston Villa may sell Douglas Luiz if they sign a new defensive midfielder in the summer, as per Football Insider.
The Lowdown: Villa rejected three offers for Luiz
The Brazil international has less than 18 months left on his current Villa contract, and as such, a number of possibilities have been explored regarding the midfielder’s future. Surprisingly, Steven Gerrard recently revealed that discussions have not yet been opened over a contract extension.
According to a report by MailOnline, Aston Villa rejected three offers for the 23-year-old during the January transfer window, including one on deadline day by Tottenham. Arsenal were also linked with a £30m move for the midfielder, who previously worked with Mikel Arteta at Manchester City.
Luiz staying at the club until (at least) the summer will surely come as a huge relief for Villa fans, as the Brazilian has played an instrumental part in the club’s season. He has made 17 Premier League appearances and averaged the squad’s second-highest overall performance rating from SofaScore.
The Latest: Agbonlahor tips Villa to sell Luiz
Despite the player’s evident importance to Villa, Agbonlahor has tipped the club to sell Luiz if they sign a new defensive midfielder in the summer.
Speaking to Football Insider, Villa’s record Premier League scorer claimed that the 23-year-old needs to be a better tackler if he wants to be Gerrard’s long-term defensive midfielder, saying: “I actually really like him. He starts attacks off really well. Maybe the only question is, does he tackle as well as you need too in a defensive midfielder role.
“With Nakamba out injured you need him in there and he’s very important at the moment. But you don’t know what the future holds, if Aston Villa can get Yves Bissouma in the summer they might decide to sell Douglas Luiz in the summer.
“You don’t know where Steven Gerrard’s mind is at yet with Douglas Luiz. Maybe he’s got 17 or 18 games now to show Steven Gerrard why he should be given a new contract and kept at the club.
“He’s a qualtiy player, a Brazil international. But when you play that defensive midfield role you have to be better at tackling.”
The Verdict: Bissouma move could seal Luiz’s exit
Throughout January, Villa were heavily linked with a move for Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma. Having entered the last 18 months of his contract, the Mali international has been the subject of vast transfer speculation amid a multitude of potential Premier League suitors, but it was Villa who were reported as being in ‘intense talks’ with the player.
If Villa are able to secure Bissouma in the summer, this could be a sign that Luiz will not be featuring in Gerrard’s starting XI going forward. Once predicted to become ‘one of the top midfielders in Europe’, it would be hard to imagine the Brazil international accepting limited game-time with occasional appearances off the bench.
As a result, it doesn’t seem outside the realms of possibility that Luiz could seek a move elsewhere, with Villa likely to accept his departure if they receive a bid that they deem acceptable.
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