Kevin Phillips has claimed Douglas Luiz’s drop-off in form at Aston Villa is down to fatigue.
The former Claret and Blue, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed the 22-year-old is suffering from a “blip” having played a lot of football already this season.
In November, the Daily Star reported that City were considering triggering their £25million buy-back clause in the defensive midfielder’s contract at the end of the season.
Villa signed the Brazil international from City in July 2019 for a fee of £15million.
When asked for his assessment of why Luiz’s form has dropped off of late, Phillips told Football Insider: “His drop-off is down to fatigue I think.
“Douglas Luiz has played a lot of football this season and you are always going to hit a blip at some point.
“When you are winning football it can mask the cracks because everyone wants to run. But, when you hit a sticky patch you feel more tired and jaded and I think that is the case with Villa and Luiz. Dean Smith has pretty much picked the same team week in, week out.
“Has his head been turned? No, I don’t think that’s the case. Why would it? His form would have dropped around January if so.
“I would put it down to the fact he has played a lot of football. Villa are just going through a sticky patch.”