By Russell Edge

21st Dec, 2020 | 5:08pm

Exclusive: Bent blown away by £15m Villa man as new contract on the reported cards

Darren Bent has urged former club Aston Villa to make their move in contract negotiations with leading light Douglas Luiz.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Russell Edge, the ex-England striker’s message to the Villa hierarchy was that the club need to tie down all their top stars.

His comments came after news broke that Villa are looking to agree updated terms with the £15million Brazilian midfielder.

Aston Villa have already handed fresh contracts to John McGinn, Tyrone Mings and Jack Grealish this season and fans will be hopeful of Luiz becoming the fourth high-profile name to put pen to paper on a new deal.

With it looking increasingly likely that Luiz will be with the club for the long-haul, what is Bent’s assessment of the player’s role in the Villa team?

“He fits that way Villa play nicely,” he told Football Insider.

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“He obviously sits in front of that back four, he’s disciplined, doesn’t wander too much, comfortable in possession. You need them type of players.

“We’ve seen players come into that position for Villa and not do very well but he looks comfortable, he looks assured and, for sure, he’s definitely a player that Villa need to keep hold of, because he has been very, very good.”

He has been a reassuring presence at the base of the Aston Villa midfield this season, often in the right place to foil opposition counter-attacks.

Luiz has been a proactive influence too, completing 92 of 114 long passes, a higher proportion than anyone else in the Villa squad (Fbref).

In other news, a string of Championship clubs are looking to sign a technically-gifted Villa forward.