Finn Azaz can be Aston Villa’s Luiz heir

Aston Villa have done a lot of early business this summer in Steven Gerrard’s first pre-season in charge, and they may well be looking towards the transfer market again should Douglas Luiz depart the club.

AC Milan are one of the clubs who are said to be very interested in signing the former Manchester City midfielder after an impressive couple of seasons at Villa Park.

However, Gerrard may already have a natural heir for the Brazilian in Finn Azaz, a 21-year-old midfielder who is yet to make an appearance for Villa’s first team since joining from West Brom in 2021.

The youngster did start in Villa’s 4-0 win over Walsall in pre-season last weekend, with Birmingham Live reporter Ashley Preece suggesting that he looked “very tidy” in the Villans’ midfield.

Last season saw Azaz win the League Two Young Player of the Season award after some superb performances for Newport County, for whom he contributed seven goals and eight assists in 45 appearances.

Does Azaz deserve a chance in the team?




His form earned him the praise of Newport manager Jamie Rowberry, who said: “Finn has been terrific for us. He’s still got elements of his game he needs to improve but you can see what he’s about and what he tries to do.

“He could have made today quite easy for himself but he’s a driven individual and I admire that. He’s capable of so much.”

According to WhoScored, the 21-year-old’s strengths are his defensive contribution, playing key passes and taking long shots. It is therefore easy to see how he could replace Luiz in Villa’s midfield in the future, as he could adopt that deep-lying playmaker role in Gerrard’s side.

While he has mainly played further forward during his time at Newport, his defensive work rate and 6 foot 1 frame would suggest that he has what it takes to play in a deeper role.

Azaz will certainly get his chances in pre-season, and if Luiz does end up departing this summer, Gerrard might just be tempted to keep the 21-year-old at Villa Park as the Brazilian’s replacement.

AND, in other news… Lange can seal “great talent” as Villa’s fifth summer signing, imagine him & Coutinho

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