With Arsenal reportedly locked in negotiations with Aston Villa to sign midfielder Douglas Luiz, some fans of the North London club have unearthed old comments from Pep Guardiola which underline just how highly he rated the Brazilian.
The uncertainly surrounding Luiz's Villa future was exacerbated by manager Steven Gerrard, who spoke about the possibility of the former Manchester City man leaving the club after his side's defeat to Arsenal. Luiz was under contract at Man City for two seasons but never actually played a second for the Premier League champions due to work permit issues.
However, Guardiola's attempts at the time to convince the UK Home Office of his quality is once again going viral online, after Arsenal fans unearthed his remarks from several years ago.
When word reached Pep Guardiola in 2018 that work-permit issues were preventing Douglas Luiz from playing for Manchester City, he sent video footage to the Home Office explaining how Luiz would be important to his side in the months & years ahead. [@TheAthleticUK via @City_Xtra] pic.twitter.com/85JqfFIAnA— afcstuff (@afcstuff) September 1, 2022
"When word reached Pep Guardiola in 2018 that work-permit issues were preventing Douglas Luiz from playing for Manchester City, he sent video footage to the Home Office explaining how Luiz would be important to his side in the months & years ahead," The Athletic wrote.
Part of the issue City had when they signed him back in 2017 was that he came directly from Vasco da Gama in Brazil, and that he lacked senior international experience. This would change in 2019 following his full Brazil debut, which helped seal the long-awaited work permit which was finally granted by the UK government. Two years prior though, the story was very different - hence his manager's somewhat unorthodox intervention.
For many Arsenal fans, this information is more than enough to build excitement around his possible signing. Luiz has shone for Villa since joining the club for around £15m back in 2019.
He has scored seven goals from 119 Premier League appearances, including his audacious effort on Wednesday night at the Emirates - which came directly from a corner kick.
Whip the ball into the box for a teammate? 🙅♂️— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 1, 2022
Score direct from a corner? 👍
Douglas Luiz took the direct approach to get Aston Villa level against Arsenal 🎯 pic.twitter.com/TXE2n48R1Q
Interestingly enough, Luiz's celebration, which was right in front of the travelling Aston Villa fans, was rather muted.
The suggestion is that Arsenal will have to raise their initial £20m bid if they are to be successful in luring him away from Villa Park today but it does look certain that his days in the West Midlands are numbered - as Arsenal are far from being the only side interested in him.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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