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.

Luiz shockingly gave the ball away 15 times against Wolves last Friday, with seven of those losses in his own half – his worst statistical showing of the 2020-21 campaign. (Wyscout)

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.

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“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.” 

In other news, Aston Villa have set their sights on signing the “next Jack Grealish” this summer.