Ex-Gunner says he would take Aston Villa man at Arsenal over Declan Rice ‘every day of the week’

Jason Soutar
Aston Villa's Douglas Luiz and Arsenal's Declan Rice.
Aston Villa's Douglas Luiz and Arsenal's Declan Rice.

Signing Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz for £60million would be better value than Declan Rice for £100m, according to former Arsenal winger Jermaine Pennant.

Mikel Arteta brought Rice to Arsenal in July and the former West Ham captain has been a game-changer in his midfield this season.

The England international cost a club-record £100m but has quickly proved himself to be worth the huge transfer fee with his performances next to Martin Odegaard and fellow summer signing Kai Havertz.

Rice can comfortably play as a No. 6 or a little bit further forward and Thomas Partey’s injury concerns means Arteta is looking to bring in another midfielder, according to reports.

Aston Villa and Brazil star Luiz has been strongly linked with a move to the Emirates in recent months and the Londoners had several bids rejected by the Villans on deadline day in the 2022 summer transfer window.

Arsenal’s bids were worth between £20-30m and since then, Luiz’s value has soared to at least triple that sort of fee.

READ MORE: Europe-bound Aston Villa third in calendar year table as Everton climb above Chelsea

The Brazilian international has been loving life under ex-Arsenal boss Unai Emery, who led the Villans to Europa Conference League qualification last term.

Emery’s side have been outstanding this term and currently sit in third in the Premier League and a lot of their success has been thanks to Luiz’s fine form in midfield.

Arsenal’s interest is no longer a surprise to anyone, although a move in 2024 seems pretty unlikely now, and if it was to come to fruition, the Gunners would have to pay a humungous fee.

Comparing Luiz to Rice is pretty fair given both players’ form this campaign but it would be fair to say that the latter is a level above at this moment in time.

But according to Pennant, he would take Luiz for £60m over Rice for £100m “every day of the week”.

“Rice in any team would be a dream to have, but there are better sixes in the Premier League at the moment,” Pennant claimed on talkSPORT.

“I would say Douglas Luiz from Aston Villa, he can do everything Rice can do and better. He assists more, he chips in with goals more than Rice, creativity-wise he’s better, flair is better, he can put in a tackle and break up play just like Rice.

“If someone said to be you can have Luiz for £60m or Rice for £100m, every day of the week, Douglas Luiz.”

Incidentally, Villa host Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday.

Emery’s side have won 14 league matches in a row at Villa Park, with their last defeat coming against the Gunners in March.

READ MORE: Premier League predictions: Savage says Arsenal will beat Villa, backs Chelsea to lose at Everton