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Aston Villa receive Douglas Luiz boost as Arsenal eye up other targets

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 20: Douglas Luiz of Aston Villa celebrates with teammate Ollie Watkins after scoring the team's second goal from a penalty kick during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Everton FC at Villa Park on August 20, 2023 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 20: Douglas Luiz of Aston Villa celebrates with teammate Ollie Watkins after scoring the team's second goal from a penalty kick during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Everton FC at Villa Park on August 20, 2023 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Arsenal have reportedly been interested in Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz, with a potential transfer in mind - however, recent reports suggest that the Gunners may be turning their attention to former Wolves star Ruben Neves instead.

While Douglas Luiz remains on Arsenal's radar, it appears that they will prioritise a move for Neves instead of the Brazilian international. Newcastle United are also believed to be in the race, as they are looking for a replacement for Sandro Tonali, who is serving a lengthy football ban for breaching betting regulations.

As such, Arsenal will attempt to beat Newcastle to the punch - but if they fail to secure a deal for Neves, they may turn their attention back to Douglas Luiz. Neves currently plays for Al-Hilal in the Saudi Pro League - he hasn't set the world alight there though, mustering just a single assist over the course of 12 league games.

How important is it for Aston Villa to keep Douglas Luiz?

So far this season, Douglas Luiz has established himself as Villa's star player. He has been an incredibly effective presence at the base of midfield - he has also begun add goals to his game, finding the back of the net five times in 12 Premier League games thus far (as well as a single assist).

He is swiftly establishing himself as one of the best holding midfielders in England's top division in 2023/24. Villa currently find themselves in fifth place in the Premier League - the Brazilian's excellent performances are a driving factor behind their current position.

He is the highest-scoring central midfielder in the Premier League so far this season - he has also completed 18 tackles, displaying his effectiveness as a defensive player. He is also quite creative, having made 40 shot-creating actions thus far [via FBref].