3 reasons why Arsenal want to sign Douglas Luiz in January

  • Arsenal reportedly hold strong interest in Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz
  • Gunners attempted to sign Brazilian two summers ago
  • Luiz has excelled under Unai Emery at Villa Park

Arsenal are said to be huge admirers of Douglas Luiz
Arsenal are said to be huge admirers of Douglas Luiz / Visionhaus/GettyImages

While we still have the hectic festive period to navigate, the January transfer window will undoubtedly roll around in no time at all.

The transfer rumour mills are starting to sizzle ahead of the winter rush, and Arsenal are poised to conduct several pieces of business as they attempt to push on multiple fronts during the second half of the 2023/24 season.

The return of Jurrien Timber will aid defensive depth across the backline, but the Gunners could do with reinforcements in both midfield and attack. In 2022, the addition of Leandro Trossard midway through the season proved savvy, while Jorginho, considering the fee, has been an underrated addition.

Mikel Arteta will be hoping to make a big splash in the January window, and Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz appears to be the club's priority target. With Fabrizio Romano adamant of the Gunners' love for the Brazilian, here's why Arsenal are so keen on signing Luiz this winter.

3 reasons why Arsenal want to sign Douglas Luiz in January

1. Depth needed in two midfield positions

Thomas Partey
Thomas Partey has barely featured for the Gunners this season / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

While Declan Rice and Martin Odegaard are staples of Arsenal's midfield, Arteta is yet to nail down the third party following Granit Xhaka's exit. Leandro Trossard, Fabio Vieira, Kai Havertz, and Emile Smith Rowe have all been used in the left-sided #8 role this season, and while Trossard and Havertz - to a lesser extent - have shown promise, Arteta is still figuring things out.

Moreover, there's a depth issue at the base of midfield. If Arsenal receive a reasonable offer for Thomas Partey in January, the Ghanaian's inability to stay fit means the club would be wise to let him go. However, a replacement would be necessary.

While Luiz isn't an ideal fit for the #8 role that Xhaka performed, he's certainly capable of providing Arteta with an alternative midfield solution. He's a player that can offer depth at both the #6 and #8 positions.

2. Complete midfield profile

Douglas Luiz
Luiz has flourished as a box-to-box midfielder at Villa Park / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Luiz has been moulded into an impressively rounded midfielder by Unai Emery. You might say he's the complete midfielder given his contributions with and without the ball.

The Brazilian's knack for scoring a variety of goals has seen him net on six occasions this season, an impressive figure considering his metronomic role in the Villa side. No Villa player is completing more passes (59) and long passes (6.27) per 90 minutes in the Premier League this term. Lucas Digne, meanwhile, is the only Villan with more combined tackles and interceptions than Luiz.

His profile is edging towards complete, that's for sure, and while I don't think he's much of a box crasher in the mould of Havertz, or as Xhaka was last season, Luiz could undoubtedly contribute in myriad ways from an #8 position in Arteta's system.

The midfielder has struck up an excellent dynamic with Boubacar Kamara in Villa's pivot and he'll certainly complement the majestic Declan Rice at Arsenal's base

3. Crucial Premier League experience

Douglas Luiz, Unai Emery
Luiz has shone under Unai Emery / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Acquiring players from the Premier League is not a necessity in the long run, but it's mightily helpful if those players are bought in the January transfer window and tasked with having an immediate impact.

Last winter, Arsenal benefitted from signing a pair of Premier League veterans Trossard and Jorginho. The former, in particular, was able to slot in right away and play an important role in Arsenal's challenge. While a systamatic adjustment was needed, there was no major acclimatisation.

If the Gunners are going to sign a midfielder in January, they need one that's able to contribute to another title tilt. There's no time for culture shocks or getting used to the food, that's what pre-season is for!

Luiz has proved his worth under Emery and has been among the Premier League's best-performing midfielders in 2023.