Douglas Luiz

Bournemouth strikes early, holds off Villa charge

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Aston Villa returned Villa Park to the Premier League, but a pair of early mistakes allowed Bournemouth three points it didn’t quite earn in a 2-1 match on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

Goalkeeper Tom Heaton conceded a penalty in the first minute, converted by Joshua King, and Harry Wilson scored a deflected shot in the 12th minute.

Douglas Luiz scored a beautiful goal in the second half, but that’s all the Villans could muster in the loss.

Three things we learned

  1. Heaton hears a who: The Aston Villa backstop is going to save them more points than he loses them, but his first minute penalty is one he’ll hope to forget.
  2. Eddie Howe‘s men start well again: The Cherries have four points through two matches, and overcome their hiccup against Sheffield United.
  3. Even in defeat, Villa are for real: You won’t make the types of mistakes the hosts made early and find three points often, but Villa controlled play for most of the match and took nearly double the shots of the visitors in a near-flip of their performance on Opening Day at Spurs.

I mean, look at Luiz’s goal:

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Heaton chopped down Callum Wilson just 45 seconds into the match, and Joshua King converted the penalty to give the Cherries a fine start.

It was 2-0 a dozen minutes later when Harry Wilson hit a screamer that deflected to leave Heaton out to lunch.

Villa pounded the pavement to get back into the match, but Eddie Howe was pleased to have only allowed a single goal — Luiz’s beauty (below) — and held on for the win against a very good Villa. From the BBC:

“We looked good on the counter, we had a threat today and could have had more but the third didn’t come. I think the most impressive aspect was how we saw the game out after conceding late last week. It’s a big win to come here and perform the way we did.”

Arsenal confirm Ceballos deal; Villa sign Douglas Luiz

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Arsenal have their man.

Dani Ceballos, 22, has joined the Gunners from Real Madrid on a season-long loan with the Spanish international midfielder a direct replacement for Aaron Ramsey.

So much so that Arsenal have even given Ceballos the No.8 jersey formerly worn by Ramsey.

Speaking about his arrival in the Premier League, Ceballos revealed that his compatriots Unai Emery and Hector Bellerin played a big part in him switching the Spanish capital for England’s capital city.

“I knew I had the confidence of the coach, which was very important for me from the start,” Ceballos explained. “I was aware of the responsibility that wearing this shirt entails and it was a tremendously proud moment when I decided to join Arsenal.”

This move is all well and good for Arsenal, but don’t they need to strengthen in other areas first?

Ceballos is a hugely talented attacking midfielder who is highly-rated in Spain (even if Zinedine Zidane isn’t a member of his fan club) but with Mesut Ozil, Alex Iwobi, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and youngsters like Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe around, this isn’t an area where they needed extra help.

Unless Unai Emery expects Callum Chambers to become the next Virgil Van Dijk (sorry, Callum, nothing personal) then Arsenal still have a huge hole to fill in central defense this summer. The main reason they didn’t finish in the top four last season was due to defensive issues and that doesn’t seem like changing anytime soon.

Another day, another new signing at Aston Villa.

Douglas Luiz, 21, has joined from Manchester City for a fee believed to be around $18.7 million as the Brazilian midfielder is Dean Smith’s 10th signing of the summer transfer window.

This addition takes Villa’s spending to almost $160 million this summer. Ka-ching.

Luiz has signed a five-year contract at Villa and after spending the last two seasons on loan at Girona following his move to Man City — City couldn’t get a work permit for Luiz so loaned him out to their sister club in Spain — the former Vasco da Gama man is ready to get rolling in the Premier League as he never made an appearance for City.

“I hope I can be a leader in the team,” Luiz said. “I hope I can help by bringing the ball out from the back and, although I don’t speak a lot of English, I hope I can help out by shouting orders from the back and live up to all the expectations as best as I can. I hope we have a great season and win a lot of games.

“Right now I’m confident in saying that, God willing, I can shine in the Premier League. So I hope I cannot just talk the talk but also walk the walk and that’s my main aim. I came here to learn but, more than anything, to dream big and to be a leader on the pitch.”

Luiz is a bullish defensive midfielder who will add to Smith’s options in the engine room alongside Conor Hourihane, Jack Grealish and John McGinn.

The Brazilian joins Trezeguet, Anwar Al Ghazi, Matt TargettTyrone Mings, Ezri Konza, JotaWesley, Kourtney Hause and Bjorn Engels as Villa’s new signing and they certainly aren’t missing about this summer.

Villa lines up moves for Trezeguet, Man City’s Luiz

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Aston Villa manager Dean Smith is not messing around with his side’s fate in the Premier League.

The Villans have added a wealth of talent this summer while holding onto Jack Grealish, and now have two more notable names in the frame.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails KDB ]

One looks like a near certainty, with The Birmingham Mail reporting that Douglas Luiz of Man City is already with Villa in the United States ahead of a $20 million move.

The 21-year-old Luiz has spent the last two seasons on loan at Girona, and improved in playing time and performance in the second season.

The same outlet says Egyptian star Mahmoud “Trezeguet” Hassan is nearing a move to Villa Park. Trezeguet is 24, has 41 caps for Egypt and is currently on the books for Turkish side Kasımpaşa.

Trezeguet’s four shots per game was second in the Turkish Super Lig last season, and he piled up nine goals and nine assists before adding another goal and assist for Egypt in its ill-fated hosting run at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Luiz would be more of an eye toward the future, even at almost double the cost of Trezeguet (though Sky Sports says the incentives could eventually take the total through the roof). The latter could be an immediate and significant contributor to Villa’s fight to reestablish itself as a PL mainstay.

Man City request work permit for Luiz after failed moves for MFs

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Manchester City made — and failed in — bids for multiple central midfielders this summer, and appear resigned to the idea that they’ll be unable to sign another of their targets before the transfer window closes on Thursday.

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Pep Guardiola and Co., struck out on now-Chelsea midfielder Jorginho, among others, leading them to a not-so-terrible backup plan: registering 20-year-old Douglas Luiz, who was signed from Vasco da Gama for $13 million before immediately being loaned to La Liga side Girona (also owned by City Football Group) last summer. The only problem: Luiz might not qualify for a work permit, given his lack of call-ups to the Brazilian national team and his lack of a high enough profile to qualify as an exceptional talent — quotes from the Guardian:

“We want him to stay but he does not have a work permit yet so we will try to convince the federation to allow him to stay. I think he has real potential to play with us and improve with us. We saw in pre-season against Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund that he is at a good level. It depends on him and us. The club wants him to stay and he wants to stay but it depends on the work permit.

“He’s ready to play, that’s why we want the permit. We ask for the work permit because we believe he can play with us, otherwise we would not be asking.”

Whether or not Luiz qualifies for a work permit and can be registered — or if he turns out to be a quality player — his situation is just another benefit of the spending power possessed my Man City. How many other clubs in the world can make a “down payment” of that size without any idea or likelihood the player will ever be able to actually play for the club? The answer is, obviously, not many.

Man City loan four to Girona, will play friendly at La Liga new boys

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Girona has not played in Spain’s top flight before this season, and Pep Guardiola just may help the Blanquivermell stay in La Liga for more than a single campaign.

The Manchester City boss has sanctioned the loan of four players to the Catalan club, with Pablo Maffeo, Marlos Moreno, Aleix Garcia, and new signing Douglas Luiz making season-long moves.

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Moreno made 19 appearances on loan for Deportivo de la Coruna last season, so he has La Liga experience, and Garcia played once for Villarreal before moving to Man City in 2015.

Maffeo is Spanish and spent 10 years at Espanyol’s academy, while Luiz moved to Man City just over two weeks ago.

Garcia and Maffeo made 12 combined appearances for City, with the former scoring a goal against Swansea City in the League Cup.

City announced it would play a friendly against Girona during a training camp in the city, the Spanish club’s last match before opening up La Liga play. Guardiola might be a little famous in Catalonia, so it’ll be a fairly memorable occasion.

The top-to-bottom depth of La Liga is hardly as strong as the Premier League or the Bundesliga, so this is a decent opportunity for a quartet of City players to earn meaningful minutes, make their names in Spain, and advance up Guardiola’s pecking order.