February 24, 2024

Unai Emery has saluted Douglas Luiz’s Brazil recall but told the midfielder he expects more from him at Villa.

Luiz has been called up for the first time in more than two years after an impressive start to the season, which has seen him score six goals in 17 appearances.

But while the 25-year-old has become a vital cog Emery’s team, the head coach believes he is capable of delivering even more, most notably in away matches.

He explained: “It (the recall) is very important and I am very happy for him. But I am also demanding with him, very demanding. He is progressing and playing well. He is playing more consistent at home than away.

“I was speaking with him and told him he is very important for us and Aston Villa and progressing a lot but I also said: ‘You can do more. I am going to try to push you to do more.

“Of course, I am very happy for your call-up and think it is very important for you and the club as well.’”

Luiz scored in six consecutive Premier League matches at Villa Park before drawing a blank in the recent 3-1 win over Luton, though he still made a significant contribution by setting up the opener.

Emery thinks he has the potential to be more creative and also wants to see an improvement in his performances on the road.

He continued: “I think he can take more responsibility in our build-up. Of course, he is scoring a lot of goals but he can add more assists, as a midfielder for our strikers. He can be more of a protagonist with the ball, I think.

“For example, on Sunday at Nottingham Forest I was waiting for more from him with the ball when we were in possession.

“I was wanting more and demanding more. The last matches we played away at Wolverhampton, Alkmaar and Nottingham are three examples where he could do more.

“Every day in our meetings, I am being demanding with everyone. But speaking now about him, it is very good news he is in his national squad but we can get more from him.”

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