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Football London
Football London
Luke Thrower

Mikel Arteta could solve Arsenal problem with transfer push for star amid Pep Guardiola praise

Arsenal are set to reignite their interest in Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz this summer, according to reports. It comes after the Gunners were said to be interested in the former Manchester City player in January, but failed to get a deal over the line.

The decision to not sign anyone in January, while letting a number of squad players leave, could be one that has come back to haunt Mikel Arteta. The squad has been thinned and with a number of key injuries, momentum towards a top four finish has come to a halt.

One key absentee is Thomas Partey, with summer signing Albert Sambi Lokonga being drafted in to play alongside Martin Odegaard while Granit Xhaka fills in for Kieran Tierney at left-back. It leaves the side slightly unbalanced, but Arteta was full of praise for Edu and his transfer business, despite the lack of signings in January.

READ MORE: Mikel Arteta told Arsenal already had 'one of best midfielders in the world' amid transfer error

He said: "Edu and his team have done a great job. We are very clear we only want the best people and the best players at this club. When we are in a rush and the reasons to get a player on board are not the right ones we didn't do it."

However the summer could be different, with plenty of players linked with a move to the Emirates. While a striker is believed to be the priority, a midfield addition is also on the agenda.

Football Insider reports that the Gunners will make another move for Aston Villa star Douglas Luiz in an aim to bolster their central ranks. The 23-year-old has been a stalwart for the Villans, but with only one year remaining on his deal at Villa Park, he could be set for an exit.

The Brazilian has made 27 appearances in the Premier League this season and has assisted three times while scoring once, despite his deeper role. The Brazil international was recently praised by manager Steven Gerrard for his toughness in the midfield.

The former England midfielder said: “It was very impressive and it's a side of his game nobody gives him enough credit for. That's the type of character I want. When you come to tough places, you stand up and when the game demands bumps and bruises, you stay in for the fight right until the end.”

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has also spoken highly of a player who Man City let go but who he has been impressed by with his time at Villa.

Speaking in April 2021, after the two sides had met, as per the Express, he said: "He's a guy who's played a lot of minutes, he's an important player for Aston Villa. A guy who's clever with the ball, he's so physical and strong. I'm happy he's developing really, really well. Today, when he was involved in the game defensively, he was good."

It remains to be seen if a deal will be done, but with Arsenal potentially gearing up for even more football next year with the addition of a Europen campaign, reinforcements will likely be top of the agenda for the summer.

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