Arsenal have failed to sign Douglas Luiz in the 2022 summer transfer window after their deadline day attempts were thwarted by Aston Villa.
The Lions rejected a third bid for the midfielder in the region of £25 million, after having turned down previous bids of £20m and £23m from the Gunners earlier on deadline day. Meanwhile, Aston Villa have signed Leander Dendoncker after having their bid accepted by Wolves.
A reason why Villa may be reluctant to sell the Brazilian at a low price is due to the sell-on clause. Manchester City are supposed to receive 20% of the fee from any future sale of Luiz by Aston Villa if the transfer sum exceeds £15 million.
For Arsenal, Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey’s situations have prompted technical director Edu to look for backup midfielders. They have been linked to the likes of Danilo and Youri Tielemans all transfer window but were unable to get the signings over the line.
As per Mikel Arteta’s plans, Tielemans would take the Ghanaian’s spot. The Gunners boss thinks that a midfield pairing cannot be formed between Partey and Tielemans as the latter has a history of picking up niggles here and there.
Granit Xhaka would be the midfield partner for the 25-year-old Belgian. Elneny would be a useful rotation-type option, whilst the likes of Albert Sambi Lokonga and Douglas Luiz, in the long-term, will be the future of Mikel Arteta’s midfield foundations at Arsenal. Partey is currently nursing a thigh injury, while Elneny sustained an issue with his hamstring during Arsenal’s 2-1 victory over Fulham two weeks ago.
Speaking after his side’s 2-1 home win over Aston Villa, a victory that made it five wins in a row for the Gunners in the Premier League, the Spaniard informed the media in his post-match press conference:
“Obviously it has an impact because Thomas is injured as well and we’re a bit short in that position. We have players like Sambi, we have players like Granit who can play there. The club has been super supportive to keep improving the squad and the team as we can and if the right player is available and we can do it we will try.”
The Brazilian has a contract with the Lions until 2023. Mikel Arteta does require reinforcements in the midfield with Mohamed Elneny, Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey and Albert Sambi Lokonga being the only first-team midfield options for the Spaniard to select from.
The 24-year-old has been a crucial part of Villa’s set-up last season, under both Dean Smith and Steven Gerrard. He made 34 appearances in the Premier League, with two goals and three assists to his name (stats via transfermarkt). He also earned a call-up to the national side and made 6 appearances in the World Cup Qualifiers.
Douglas Luiz has worked with Arteta at Manchester City and would become a regular at Arsenal within a short period. Arteta’s double pivot set-up could allow the Brazilian more positional freedom and defensive security than Steven Gerrard’s 3-man midfield at Villa.
Furthermore, in case Partey gets injured, Luiz is likely to get regular minutes at the Emirates. Lokonga’s inexperience means the Villa midfielder will be ahead of him in the pecking order for now.
The Gunners were linked to a host of midfielders in this year’s winter transfer window. Denis Zakaria, Arthur Melo, Ruben Neves and Adrien Rabiot were some big names linked with a move to the Emirates.
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