Liverpool came away from a tough encounter at the Etihad with a creditable point. Trent Alexander-Arnold scored a great equaliser for the Reds to deny Manchester City the record for most consecutive home wins.
Jürgen Klopp’s new-look midfield were given a tough test by the likes of Bernardo Silva, but players such as Alexis Mac Allister received praise for a vastly improved display when compared to last season’s 4-1 humbling.
With the January transfer window fast approaching, rumours linking LFC to a variety of midfield options have continued to spread, with Aston Villa’s in-form Douglas Luiz one such player. The 25-year-old was mooted as a possible signing back in the summer and has gone from strength to strength under Unai Emery.
With interest in André apparently cooling, could the transfer committee be setting their sights on another talented Brazilian international?
On the latest episode of our Journo Insight show, we asked experienced LFC reporter Neil Jones for his thoughts on the Luiz links.
Liverpool v LASK | The Match Preview Show
“I don’t think he’s a defensive midfielder to start with. He’s a really good footballer, isn’t he? There are two of them – him and Kamara. He was linked at the back end of the summer window last season.
“I remember speaking to someone at Villa and they were like, ‘Absolutely no chance for selling him, certainly not late in the window, but at any point.’
“I think it’d be a difficult one to get him out of Villa, certainly mid-season, maybe next summer if they were to really go down that route. But what would he be age-wise, 26/27? Maybe just on the cusp of being the right kind of age.
“I’d be surprised if Liverpool were going to put all the money in. I think it would cost them an absolute fortune to get him out of Villa.
“They’re not in a position where they’re needing to sell players. They’re actually in a position where they’re building. I think Douglas Luiz is probably one that’s going to be staying at Villa.
“I wouldn’t rule anything out in January at all, but I think it might be more like the Díaz kind of signing, or the Gakpo, where it’s actually something that they were going to do in the summer.
“I think Díaz is probably the better example of this. It wasn’t an absolutely necessary signing at the time – they had Minamino, Origi, Firmino, Mané, Salah, Jota. They didn’t need another forward necessarily, but what it did do – it gave an impetus and it gave a freshness and it upped the game of a few players.
“Maybe there’s someone who can provide something similar in the second half of this season.”
Comparing Mac Allister to Rodri, Rice, Bissouma & Caicedo? | The Deep Dive
Luiz’s value will be increasing week by week on the back of a superb start to the season. His goalscoring and assists have been vital in Aston Villa’s ‘dark horse’ title challenge, and he has become one of their key men. As Neil rightly points out, the difficulty in extracting him from a resurgent Villa makes the chance of a January deal very unlikely. Liverpool were quoted high fees for domestic-based talent such as Cheick Doucouré and João Palhinha. The same would certainly apply in the case of Douglas Luiz. Jürgen Klopp seems to have faith in Alexis Mac Allister as the deepest-lying midfielder and the Argentinian looked the part against Manchester City. Villa would be very unlikely to sell given they are pushing for a Champions League spot and will be hoping to add yet more European silverware to Unai Emery’s CV. January deals with a release clause or involving a ‘selling club’ seem more likely.