Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz has really excelled this season.
The Brazilian may not have grabbed too many headlines like some of his more attacking teammates such as Jack Grealish, Ross Barkley and Ollie Watkins.
But the £15 million siging from Manchester City (BBC Sport) is a key cog in the machine for Dean Smith, who has started Luiz every single Premier League game so far.
After competing with Marvelous Nakamba last term Luiz has really nailed down his spot as the team’s main midfield anchor, and people are definitely starting to give him his due credit.
One man who has been watching on from afar and seemingly for a while, is former Napoli manager Gianni Di Marzio, who has really showered the praise on Luiz for his development in recent times.
He told TMW: “During the Toulon tournament, I was impressed by a playmaker called Douglas Luiz, who seems ready for the jump in Italy. He’s 22 and seems to me among the best in his role.
“Now he’s at Aston Villa, and has also been called up for Brazil. He’s very technical, he acts like a filter in front of the defence. A little like Miralem Pjanić, so to speak. He anticipates the opponent well.”
TBR’s View – Luiz rising rapidly
Luiz often stood out for Villa last season when they were struggling and now he’s looking superb at holding midfield.
He is the player that provides that crucial cover that allows Grealish and co to go and be expressive in the final third.
It’s a key role he plays, similar to Barcelona star Pjanic as Di Marzio says, and one wonders how hard Villa are going to have it keeping hold of him if he continues on this trajectory.