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Ornstein: Arsenal pursuit of Douglas Luiz over

Oh well. No use being upset about a player Arsenal never had.

Aston Villa v Brisbane Roar - 2022 Queensland Champions Cup Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Aston Villa have rejected Arsenal’s third bid for Douglas Luiz, bringing the Gunners’ pursuit of the Brazilian midfielder to a close, per David Ornstein. Arsenal tried £20M, £23M, and finally £25M, but Villa stuck to their stance that Luiz was not for sale.

Arsenal could have done with some midfield reinforcement with Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny currently injured, but at a certain point, you have to walk away from a deal. They had a number they were willing to go to for Luiz, they offered it (presumably), and Villa said no.

The club have gotten themselves into trouble overpaying for players in the past. There were some pretty disappointing, lean years where Edu and Mikel Arteta worked to undo that damage. I can’t fault them for not risking making the same mistake.

And it’s not as if Arsenal are struggling, either. They had a great summer. They’re off to a fantastic start. They’ve got Sambi Lokonga, who they bought last year as a player for the future, seemingly ready to step up. They have Fabio Vieira, a £30M signing who has yet to play a competitive minute for the club, just about ready to return.

Would another solid, Premier League player in the center of the park have been nice? Absolutely. Are Arsenal screwed because they didn’t buy Douglas Luiz? Absolutely not.

They’ll shift players around and find something that works at the base of the midfield — Granit Xhaka can fill in, Alex Zinchenko can play there too, and Lokonga just showed well.

I like this squad. They’re going to do big things. We move.