Smith: Douglas will Pep up Villa

By Graham Hill

DEAN Smith reckons the Pep Guardiola factor is there for all to see in £15million midfielder Douglas Luiz.

The ex-Manchester City player joined Villa this summer when he could not get a work permit to play under Guardiola.

But once the red tape had been sorted out at Villa Park, Luiz was ready to take his place in Dean Smith’s side.

Despite spending the pre-season in Brazil while his passport details were sorted, Luiz was able to come on as a substitute at Tottenham before making his full debut against Bournemouth.

A glaring error allowed Eddie Howe’s men to go two up, but he then scored one of the goals of the weekend to pull one back.

And Smith has seen enough signs to know Luiz will need little introduction to the top flght.

Smith told reporters: “He was in Brazil for pre-season but in terms of his adaptation? No, I am not surprised.

“If someone like Pep Guardiola really wants you then I think you’re a very good player. We’re very fortunate to have him here.

“He’s played the last two seasons in Spain with Girona and as soon as I saw him in training, I knew he would adapt very quickly.

“I felt that he grew into the game against Bournemouth. He got better as the game went on and moved the ball a lot quicker as well. The thing which I really liked about him is he’ll handle the ball anywhere and he uses his body well. He has a really good rhythm about him which you usually see in Brazilian players.

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