Douglas Luiz

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Aston Villa’s Luiz earns Brazil call-up

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Douglas Luiz’s strong start for Aston Villa hasn’t gone unnoticed.

The 21-year-old attacker earned his first call-up Friday to the Brazil Men’s National Team for a pair of friendly matches in November. Brazil will face Argentina on November 15 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and then South Korea on November 19 in the United Arab Emirates.

Luiz, a former member of Brazil’s Under-20 team, has two goals in three Premier League starts this season, as he’s battled a couple of injuries along the way. However, even without goals and assists, Luiz has shown that he’s good enough to play, and compete, at a Premier League level.

With Neymar out injured yet again, Luiz now has an opportunity to stake his claim to a roster spot in the future under manager Tite.

Its also a big boost for Aston Villa in their recruitment, to tell future players that they could play with a member of the Brazilian National Team.

Aston Villa smashes Norwich City in 5-star win

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Aston Villa climbed out of the bottom three and sank Norwich City into it during a 5-1 defeat of the Canaries at Carrow Road on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Wesley scored a pair of first half goals, and Jack Grealish, Conor Hourihane, and Douglas Luiz also got on the sheet in the big win.

Josip Drmic‘s stoppage time goal ruined Tom Heaton‘s clean sheet in a game with 44 total shots (22 to Villa).

Norwich has six points and sits 18th. Villa has eight and is up to 14th.


Three things we learned

1. The Villans will feel richly rewarded. Will they roll on? Perhaps no side has been less rewarded for performance this season than Smith’s men, including the remarkably silly officials’ decision at the end of the Crystal Palace match. The only shame is that Villa Park was unable to appreciate the moment.

Now can the Villa team feel a little unshackled, with their points meeting their performance for just a second time this season?

2. Mings the man early: Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings has consistently delivered for the newly-promoted side this season, beginning on Opening Day when he blocked every shot on Earth. He didn’t have a great second half at Carrow Road, but don’t sleep on what he did when the game was still in the balance.

Known before his time at Villa for being a big money buy with as many shocking tackles and injuries as good moments, Dean Smith has turned the center back into an England regular. And he is delivering, making an amazing recovery to stop a deflected effort from leveling the score at 1 shortly after Wesley put Villa in front, and then stopping Buendia’s rip in the 28th.

3. Shades of Benteke from Villa’s new big man: Remember for a moment that the Christian Benteke we saw at Aston Villa was unplayable at at times. Now a big Brazilian is conjuring up memories of the powerful yet deft Belgian, as Wesley scored his third and fourth goals of his Premier League career. The second was nothing special, just a center forward in the right place for a cutback, but the first showed the patience to not launch into a low header.

Man of the Match: 


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Stiepermann’s long dribble looked set for a lay-off to Teemu Pukki, who started the move, but the former Borussia Dortmund man took a shot which deflected onto goal.

He’d take another chance off a corner kick, and end up with three attempts when the sequence ended without a goal. Aston Villa had taken the first three shots, Stiepermann the next three.

Wesley’s chest trap and clever finish of a cross onto the doorstep was a deserved opener for the Brazilian big man, who is recalling the early days of former Villa man Christian Benteke.

In-form Tyrone Mings that made a terrific goal line clearances to keep it 1-0 as Norwich threatened the goal.

Anwar El Ghazi missed a clean bid to make it a two-goal lead with a header off the bar, and John McGinn curled a beauty just wide of the far post after fine work in the 27th minute.

Kenny McLean then caught Conor Hourihane’s run into the box to set up Wesley for a hat trick bid, but McGovern made a pair of saves after a slow run-up from the Brazilian.

The floodgates still opened after that, and Villa rightly deserved the three points.

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.