Why Villa came out ahead of City

By Graham Hill

DOUGLAS Luiz has been able to gain a work permit to play for Aston Villa – so why did his former club Manchester City fail?

The reason is a simple one – the player is more likely to have a significant effect on Dean Smith’s squad.

Luiz, 21, was part of an all-star line up at the Etihad Stadium, but the authorities did not feel he would be a first choice at City – a status which would have earned him international recognition at senior level.

The Manchester Evening News explained why what does not work for City, works perfectly for Villa.

They reported: ‘Villa initially ran into the same problems as City. Luiz had not played 30 per cent of Brazil’s games in the last two years and so, in a system that only wants the best talent playing in a country that is trying to produce homegrown talent, he does not automatically qualify.

“Pep Guardiola and Brazil coach Tite both tried to support Luiz’s application when the City manager wanted him as backup to Fernandinho once the Jorginho transfer fell through but the authorities did not view that the player was exceptional enough that he would go on to become a regular for club and country.

‘As much as Guardiola rated Luiz, the former Vasco da Gama star would not have been a first-team regular at the Etihad barring injuries and the £10m they paid for him is small compared to many other of their purchases.

‘At Villa, Luiz will be coming in as one of their most expensive transfers and the Midlands club are confident that they will be able to prove his importance to their team – especially with game time.’

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