By Phil Jennings
DEAN Smith insists there are no problems with Douglas Luiz’s fitness ahead of the new Premier League season.
The Villa boss has been forced to do without the Brazil Under-23 midfielder during pre-season while he waited for a work permit.
But the ex-Manchester City prospect flew in this week and Smith confirmed that the player has prepared well.
Smith has yet to confirm whether Luiz will play at Tottenham on Saturday however.
When he does make a first team bow for Villa, it will be his Premier League debut as the same red tape that delayed his arrival this summer stopped him playing a single game for City.
But the Villa boss told reporters at Bodymoor Heath: “He looks every bit the quality player we expected.
“Dougie’s trained. He’s fit.
“He has had 15 or 16 training sessions over in Brazil, too.
“We had issues getting his passport. He has his work permit now.
“He looks every bit the quality player that we wanted to see in the first training session.”
Smith may not have added to the 12 summer signings on deadline day – but hinted he could revisit the interest in the targets that did not arrive when the window opens again in January.
But he was able to see player of the year John McGinn sign a new five-year contract at Villa Park.
McGinn had been linked with a move to Manchester United this summer – but the Scot has committed himself to Villa after seeing his value sky rocket from the £2.7million he cost from Hibernian 12 months ago.
Smith added: “He’s been very important for the football over the last season – integral to us getting promoted.
“He won multiple Player of the Year awards, such was the standard of his play. He’s certainly merited that contract.
“We want to keep the best players at Aston Villa. We feel that he’s one of them along with Jack Grealish who has a long-term contract as well as new recruits we have bought in. I feel we can develop him even further. He’s really looking forward to the Premier League season and he’s certainly earned it.”