25-year old Aston Villa star must start against Fulham after ‘glorious’ cameo

With Fulham travelling to Villa Park this weekend, Aston Villa star Douglas Luiz has to return to the starting XI after being rotated against AZ Alkmaar.

So far this season, Aston Villa have been in top form and there have been many standout performers contributing to that.

Although every member of Unai Emery’s squad has had an upward trajectory since his arrival, Douglas Luiz may be the most improved.

The Villa midfield has been one of, if not the, best features of the team this season. Contributing heavily as the Villains sit fifth in the Premier League.

With John McGinn, Boubacar Kamara and Luiz, there is an extremely solid base to the midfield in B6.

Why Douglas Luiz has to start

It is safe to say that Luiz has been the most influential player for Villa this season. There is such an obvious difference when he is and isn’t playing.

Under previous managers, he was used as a single pivot at the base of the midfield which didn’t suit him. For Emery, he plays as a roaming eight next to the six that is Kamara. This gives him the freedom to express himself and make things happen.

According to Fbref, he is one of the best midfielders in Europe when it comes to scoring goals. You may think that this is due to his penalties, but no. With 0.21 non-penalty goals per 90, he ranks in the top eight percentile.

His other metrics may look middling as he sits in the high 60s and 70s for most others. With that being said, he is just consistently good across the board.

His attacking statistics are great for a midfielder. Luiz registers 3.29 shot-creating actions per 90 and ranks in the top 15% for assists.

Although that may be the case, his defensive exploits are still solid. With 2.33 tackles, 1 block and 0.90 interceptions per 90 he is more than useful tracking back.

These stats may not sound amazing but considering he does so much going forward, his well-rounded play style is clear.

Luiz was only rested against AZ Alkmaar but he had to be substituted into the game as Emery looked for an elusive winner.

He provided an assist referred to as ‘glorious’ by John Townley as the Villains went on to win, such as his influence.

The Brazil international is so important to making the team tick over and he will be needed at Villa Park once again this weekend.

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