Connect with us

Scout Report

Scout Report: Douglas Luiz | Girona’s skilful midfielder


Anderson Moura analyses Girona’s (via Manchester City) talented Brazilian, Douglas Luiz.


When Pep Guardiola accepted the Manchester City job, he knew that ‘renovation’ would be the keyword since the Citizens had a good team, but with a short expiration date. Thus, he and his team had to sift the market not only for good players, but also for promising young stars that could generate an investment in the long term. Benjamin Mendy, Bernando Silva and Ederson are the more famous (and expensive) examples of the new transfer politics of the club, but Guardiola is not focusing on just the current season.

Douglas Luiz is a great bet for the coming years and if his development at Girona (where he was already sent on a loan deal) continues the same way as it was going in Brazil, the Sky Blues will have a great player for years.

Who is Douglas Luiz?

The beginning of Douglas’s journey was very similar to many Brazilian players: living in a poor community, he saw football as an opportunity to give something to his family. When he was 14 years old he was accepted in the Vasco da Gama youth academies and made a big impact years later, playing in the U17 team. There, the competition to play in the initial XI was brutal, as Vasco had three players constantly called into the national team of the category (Andrey, Evander and Mateus Vital), so Douglas thought it was better to play as a right-back than not no play.

As Vasco was in the Brazilian Serie B in 2016, they were forced to use some domestic solutions and promoted nine youngsters. Douglas was not amongst them, but injuries and suspensions forced the team to call for even more kids and that’s when Douglas started to draw some attention. When the team passed through its worst moment in the year, Douglas was like a light at the end of the tunnel. The coach Jorginho liked what he saw and the player had a six game sequence, enough to convince everyone.

When Vasco was again with the elite of Brazilian football, Douglas was even better, but was still fated to highlight himself in teams that disappointed. That was the case of the U20 South American Championship. Douglas, Felipe Vizeu (Flamengo), Richarlison (then at Fluminense and now at Watford) and Guilherme Arana (Corinthians) had a decent tournament, but weren’t enough to put Brazil in the first four and the country, shamefully, was out of the U20 World Cup.

Back to Vasco da Gama, Douglas soon began to leave his supporting role to play as a main actor, becoming well-known by his cold blood and maturity in important games, such as the derbies against Flamengo, Botafogo and Fluminense. That was enough to put him in the Campeonato Carioca’s best XI and summon scouts from Monaco, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City to Brazil. However even though his contract had recently been renewed, Vasco could not hold him when the €12M offer arrived from England.

What is his Style of Play?

Douglas has been used as the first man in the midfield and as the second one, with less defensive responsibilities and more freedom to carry and conduct the ball, which the English name ‘box-to-box’. And this was definitely the best option. Not just because he protects the ball very efficiently when he runs with it, but also because he does it with plasticity and elegance, always with his head up, studying the possibilities while maintaining the pace.

Douglas also has an incredible easiness to play both on the center and on the flanks (maybe because of his right-back experiences as a youngster). And when he goes to the sides, one thing he likes to do and does very well is to play long diagonal balls to the other side of the pitch, looking for a less pressured partner. In his debut in the Spanish La Liga against Malaga, Douglas occupied the right position on the midfield for 20 minutes, but don’t be surprised if Girona’s coach, Pablo Machín, uses him in different places with different functions. It will not mean that he has doubts about his player. Douglas has enough versatility for many roles.

Hereupon, Tite’s recent calls for the national team shows how and why his development in these functions would be important to his nation. Fernandinho, Paulinho and Renato Augusto, men Tite trusts the most at midfield (alongside Casemiro), are not exactly models to follow in today’s football, where the athletes have to show a plurality of functions and ideas, but each one of them can be seen a little bit in Douglas. Fernandinho is good defending, Paulinho is known by his sprints and infiltrations and Renato has a lot of tactical understanding and awareness, but in the next few years Douglas could be a mix of them. The 2018 World Cup is yet to come, but Brazil has to think about the future. And Tite knows it.

“I’ve already seen Douglas, at Vasco, and I was delighted. It was against Atlético Goianiense. I was in the stadium and I said: ‘this kid is a great player’. He is great… The torque, the capacity, the passes, the smooth feet, good first touch, the ball protection…” said the coach on a Brazilian TV show called ‘Noite dos Craques’.

What are his Strengths?

Beyond the strengths written on his style of play (great on carrying the ball, superb technique and versatility to adapt to different situations), Douglas surely can do some good dribbling.  A regular young player arriving in Europe may not try that too much in his first games, but once Douglas is someone with personality and confidence, beautiful things can happen when he faces one on one challenges after the first few games.

And if the dribble is not an option, that is not a problem. He has a really precise pass, especially when he tries layoffs for fast wingers. It’s not likely that the boy will have the same protagonism he had at Vasco for adaptation reasons, but he can also dictate the rhythm of his team if the coach has enough reliability to ask him. If the strategy is intensity, his passes can cut the opposition lines. If possession is the focus, he can patiently wait for the opportunities.

What are his Weakness?

His long shots are not exactly a total weak point since Douglas has a powerful kick, but he definitely has to improve his precision, so much so that he did not score many goals with this attribute for someone who was frequently prowling the rival’s box.

According to Footstats.net, Douglas had 10 shoots on target and 14 off target

But nothing needs more improvement than his marking skills. Sometimes, when he finds himself in a situation of defensive one-on-ones, Douglas is still very hasty to tackle and commits too much fouls because of his restlessness. However while he has a good number of successful tackles, he has also lost a bunch of them for his instigation. Furthermore, when the defensive situation is based on a positional game, Douglas lacks a sense of coordination with partners and frequently breaks his team’s marking line. These points gets better with specific training sessions and it was good that Manchester City could find a calm place where Douglas could be less affected by his mistakes. The Premier League would be an aggressive change of reality for the Brazilian, but Girona surely has a wonderful environment for Douglas, Pablo Maffeo, Aleix Garcia and Marlos Moreno to evolve.

Anderson Moura

Anderson Moura

A 27 year old Brazilian journalist living in Canada, Anderson is a football commentator with more than 200 games at Esporte Interativo TV and text commentary on Goal.com and Yahoo Brazil. In 2017, his book 'The 50 greatest defenders on football history' was published in Portuguese.
Anderson Moura

100 to Watch

Latest

Scout Report2 mins ago

Scout Report: Vinícius Junior | The most expensive player born this century

Anderson Moura lays down the rule on the world’s most expensive player of the 21st century thus fair, Vinícius Junior....

Talent Radar1 day ago

2017-18 Young Players’ Team of the Week #7: Manchester City’s trio lead the way

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Young Players Team of the Week with the best young...

Tactical Analysis1 day ago

Tactical Analysis: Borussia Dortmund 2-3 RB Leipzig | Leipzig’s Press Beats Dortmund’s Possession

Ryan Tank writes a detailed tactical analysis about the Bundesliga match that ended Borussia Dortmund 2-3 RB Leipzig Line Ups...

Series1 day ago

Tactical Philosophy: Paul Clement

While this website has made its name focusing on the lesser known youth of this beautiful sport, and combined it...

Interviews2 days ago

Interview: Ex-Premier League players on the Problem with Young Footballers

Outside of the Boot had the opportunity to speak with ex-Premier League players – Manchester City’s Paul Dickov, Leicester City’s...

Scout Report2 days ago

Scout Report: Nicolo Barella | Cagliari’s Complete Midfielder

Kaustubh Pandey provides a detailed scout report on Cagliari’s promising Italian midfielder, Nicolo Barella In a country that is as passionate...

Opinions2 days ago

Statiscal Analysis: Which team has the worst injury record in La Liga?

Luke Glassford provides us with a statiscal look at the injuries suffered by various La Liga teams over the past...

Scout Report3 days ago

Scout Report: Chris Willock | Benfica’s ex-Arsenal youth product

Hrishi Anand takes a look at youngster Chris Willock, whose move away from the Premier League could help blaze a...

Scout Report3 days ago

Scout Report: Marlos Moreno | Manchester City’s Colombian flash

Josh Sippie takes a look at Colombian international Marlos Moreno, whose Spanish education will make or break his chances at...

Opinions5 days ago

Analysing Kevin De Bruyne: Pep Guardiola’s Total Midfielder

Charles Onwuakpa analyses Kevin De Bruyne, who has quickly developed into Pep Guardiola’s most important player. When we talk about...

Scout Report5 days ago

Scout Report: Josh Sargent | USA’s rising star

Josh Sippie takes a look at USA’s brightest young star on the block, Josh Sargent With the Bundesliga’s new prerogative of...

Scout Report5 days ago

Scout Report: Timothy Weah | The talented encore to George

Josh Sippie analyses one of PSG and USA’s young starlets, Timothy Weah The United States trek towards international relevance is...

Indian Football1 week ago

Traveling Barefoot – The Story of Indian Football

Arinjay Ghosh details the topsy-turvy tale of Indian Football through the years.

Talent Radar2 weeks ago

7 Players to Watch at the U17 World Cup 2017 in India

Brian Hradek highlights seven players who could make an impact at the U17 World Cup 2017 The U17 World Cup...

Series2 weeks ago

Tactical Philosophy: Eddie Howe

While this website has made its name focusing on the lesser known youth of this beautiful sport, and combined it...

Interviews2 weeks ago

Tales of a Football Scout: Giulio D’Alessandro

Kaustubh Pandey gets the chance to sit down with Italian football scout and agent, Giulio D’Alessandro Contrary to popular opinion,...

Opinions2 weeks ago

Newcastle and the Loyalty Project

Josh Sippie takes a look at Rafa Benitez’s approach and style at Premier League newboys Newcastle United. Liverpool, Inter, Chelsea,...

Opinions2 weeks ago

What direction is football heading in?

Jonathan Roberts looks deeply into the direction football is heading in, using de Boer’s sacking as an example.  It’s easy to...

Specials2 weeks ago

In-depth Analysis: Why Lukaku makes Man United better than Ibrahimovic ever will

Alexiou Konstantinos provides a detailed comparison between Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic and why the former is an upgrade for...

Tactical Analysis2 weeks ago

Tactical Analysis: Monarcas 3-0 Xolos | Monarcas’ Pressing And Xolos’ Offside Trap

Brian Bertie writes a detailed tactical analysis about the Liga MX match that ended Monarcas 3-0 Xolos Monarcas and Xolos...

Talent Radar Award History

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Young Player Rankings 17-18

More on Outside of the Boot