EPL

Douglas Luiz had the quality to play for Manchester City - Guardiola

By Sports Desk October 25, 2019

Pep Guardiola believes Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz had the quality to play for Manchester City, who were frustrated previously in their efforts to secure a work permit for the Brazilian.

Douglas Luiz was on City's books from 2017 to 2019 but was forced to go out on loan to Girona in consecutive seasons before sealing a reported £15million switch to Villa.

Guardiola spoke of his disappointment at failing to get the midfielder a permit in 2018, when City were short on options to cover Fernandinho.

The Premier League champions have since signed Rodri, although he is out injured, and Guardiola suggested there could still be the option for Douglas Luiz to return to City in the future.

"He would be here if the work permit had been possible," Guardiola said of Douglas Luiz ahead of City's meeting with Villa.

"The work permit was not possible, so loan, loan, and now he's at Aston Villa. I think we have an option to bring him back.

"But sometimes life is like this. We wanted him because in the last season we had a problem in that position because we didn't buy a holding midfielder in the last three or four seasons.

"Douglas Luiz - we thought about that. But with the rules in England with the work permit, it was not possible. So that's why - or I think he would have been here.

"He played in the pre-season last season in the United States, and he was really good. I think he has the quality to play with us but he could not do that."

Asked for an assessment of Douglas Luiz's primitive Premier League career, which has already included two stunning goals in seven games, Guardiola replied: "The talent is always there.

"He has played some games - he didn't play other ones. We will see at the end of the season how his level is. But the quality was there and is there."

Another midfielder predictably on the agenda this week was Phil Foden, who shone after being handed a start in the Champions League against Atalanta but was later sent off.

Guardiola, who has repeatedly talked up the teenager despite his limited appearances, suggested only time on the training pitch can get Foden to the required level.

"It's training by training - 19, 20, 21, 22, 23," the City boss said. "Every season will be better. It's time, a process of time.

"It's not that I do that and tomorrow he will get it. It's being in the stadium, playing the minutes, sometimes you have to pass, sometimes you have to run, these decisions.

"It's time. At 23, he will be better than now. At 26, he will be better than at 23. He's an incredible work ethic guy. In the training sessions, he's a fighter, and the quality is there."

Related items

  • Mbappe must accept my decisions - Tuchel Mbappe must accept my decisions - Tuchel

    Kylian Mbappe has been told by Thomas Tuchel to respect decisions made by the Paris Saint-Germain coach.

    Mbappe appeared to ignore Tuchel when he was substituted towards the end of Saturday's Ligue 1 win away to Montpellier, a 3-1 comeback victory in which the World Cup winner scored.

    Reports in Spain have claimed Mbappe is not interested in signing a new PSG contract amid speculation Real Madrid will launch a fresh attempt to prise the striker away from Paris.

    Former France striker Christophe Dugarry has said on RMC Sport that Tuchel is "finished" at PSG, described the club as a "non-entity" and claimed the coach must "justify" his decision to take off Mbappe two games in a row.

    Tuchel faces a tricky balancing act to keep the 20-year-old happy in the French capital but the coach will not tolerate displays of frustration from Mbappe.

    "Kylian is not difficult to manage but he has a unique mentality," Tuchel told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday ahead of a Champions League game against Galatasaray.

    "It is normal that he always wants to win. He must accept being subbed off and show respect to other players like [Eric Maxim] Choupo-Moting."

    PSG are already through as group winners after beating Madrid at home and coming from behind to draw away to Los Blancos on matchday five.

    Tuchel hinted he is considering squad rotation against Galatasaray as the Ligue 1 champions have a five-point lead at the top of the table.

    "I am convinced that we are ready for tomorrow," Tuchel added. 

    "All players want to play and it is necessary that they all have time to play with all of the games that are coming.

    "We have to show that we can play as a team; it's what you need to do to accomplish great things."

  • Arsenal interested in Paulo Sousa, claims entourage of Bordeaux coach Arsenal interested in Paulo Sousa, claims entourage of Bordeaux coach

    Arsenal have identified Bordeaux coach Paulo Sousa as a potential successor to Unai Emery, a source close to the Portuguese tactician has claimed.

    Following an underwhelming start to the season, Emery was dismissed by Arsenal in late November, with Freddie Ljungberg taking over in an interim capacity.

    Although Ljungberg guided Arsenal to a 3-1 win at West Ham on Monday, the Swede is not thought to be in contention for the job on a full-time basis.

    Patrick Vieira, Marcelino Garcia Toral, Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta have all been linked with the vacancy at the Premier League club.

    But Sousa, who has taken Bordeaux to fifth in the Ligue 1 table this season, is also attracting interest, according to his entourage.

    They told L'Equipe: "They like his profile as a coach but also as a person – we've been blown away.

    "That doesn't mean he'll leave. They've targeted several candidates, but Paulo is one of them, certainly. Between the two [Arsenal and Sousa], it could be a match.

    "With all the problems at Bordeaux, why wouldn't he leave? The project is not what he was promised, that's a fact.

    "He loves the fans, but he needs more from the board - this team is not strong enough to finish in the top six."

    Sousa is no stranger to English football having already coached QPR, Swansea City and Leicester City, while he has also had spells in charge of Basel, Fiorentina and Tianjin Quanjian in China.

    Despite apparently having a desire to talk with Sousa, Bordeaux's head of recruitment Eduardo Macia insists the Gunners have not been in touch with the club.

    "It would be normal that he arouses interest, but we have not been contacted," Macia told L'Equipe.

  • Man City defender Stones misses Zagreb trip Man City defender Stones misses Zagreb trip

    John Stones was omitted from the Manchester City squad to face Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League on Wednesday after he was injured during the Manchester derby.

    Stones limped off in the second half of Saturday's 2-1 home defeat to Manchester United, which dealt another blow to City's fading hopes of winning a third straight Premier League crown.

    The England defender missed training on Tuesday and was subsequently left out of the group for the trip to Croatia's capital, with David Silva and Sergio Aguero also missing out alongside long-term absentees Leroy Sane and Aymeric Laporte.

    Pep Guardiola's side are boosted by the presence of Oleksandr Zinchenko, who returns from two months out with a knee injury to add to City's options at their problem left-back position.

    City, already through as winners of Group C, have included teenage defenders Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis in their squad.

    Guardiola, who led Barcelona to two Champions League triumphs as coach, is seeking his first European title with the English club.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.