Aston Villa have received a midfield boost heading into the season with Douglas Luiz being granted a work permit, as reported by Globo Esporte.
Despite having signed in July, Luiz has spent 24 days training on his own while waiting to see if he would be able to secure the permit, having completed the final details of his move in the USA while Villa were on tour there.
The midfielder believes he is ready to play 45 minutes against Tottenham Hotspur, but it is unlikely that will happen due to the time he has missed in preseason.
Luiz failed to get a work permit at Manchester City last season, with a more prominent role at Villa being among the reasons he was granted one this time around.
Luiz started 16 La Liga matches for Girona last season, coming off the bench seven times, as per WhoScored.
The Brazilian showed he has a well-rounded game, making 1.5 tackles, 0.9 interceptions and 1 clearance per game, as well as 1 dribble and 31.7 passes per game with a success rate of 84.5%.
However, he can be quite rash with his challenges, as highlighted by the fact he committed 2 fouls per game throughout the campaign, picking up seven yellow cards.
Conor Hourihane could be the player to benefit most from Luiz’s presence, as the Republic of Ireland international was often deployed as the deepest of Villa’s midfielders last season (as highlighted by The Irish Post).
However, his main strengths lie in the attacking side of the game, as signified by his eight goals and 11 assists last season, as well as 1.5 key passes per game.
Having Luiz as well as Marvelous Nakamba in the side means Dean Smith has two natural holding midfield options, allowing him to play Hourihane further up the pitch.
Having Luiz’s work permit finalised before the start of the season is certainly a boost for Aston Villa ahead of their Premier League return.
While it is likely too late for him to feature against Spurs, it is encouraging that Smith will have two more natural holding midfielders at his disposal going forward.
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