‘Quality player’ The Aston Villa signing update fans will love
The 21-year-old has been made to wait to join up with Dean Smith and Villa over a work visa wrangle.
Manager Smith has revealed Douglas, captain of Brazil under-21s, couldn’t get his passport back to travel to the UK sooner.
The exciting midfield player officially joined up with his new club on Wednesday and trained for the first time today – and Smith was delighted with what he witnessed out on the Bodymoor Heath training pitches.
He said: “Dougie has trained, he’s fit. He’s had 15 or 16 training sessions over in Brazil. He had problems getting his passport back, his work permit was done. He got his passport and he’s with us.
“He looks every bit the quality player that we wanted to see in the first training session.
“He was over in America with us as well so we know enough about each other and we have no doubt we’ve had a great pre-season and not too many injuries as well.
“We watched him in the Toulon Tournament, where he got the player of the tournament.
“Our recruitment has been really good. Some of them are already established internationals and they are looking forward to the challenge of the Premier League.”
Douglas is now champing at the bit to muscle his way into Villa’s XI but, just like his permit, will be made to wait following the impressive form of Villa’s Conor Hourihane throughout pre-season.
Smith added: “Any manager will tell you, you have a lot of smiling faces in pre-season because you can play anyone but come tomorrow, when I name the team, they’ll be 11 smiling and the rest not so happy.
“What I’m pleased with is we did most of our recruitment early and they have adapted really well. The integration has been seamless. They have all put themselves to be within a shout of the starting XI against Tottenham.”
Villa’s business in the summer transfer window is done, Smith confirmed. The club have already spent more than £130million on 12 new players and, despite letting the likes of Scott Hogan and Andre Green depart, Smith is more than happy with the firepower at his disposal.
Elsewhere, James Chester remains sidelined with a hamstring injury for another month after pulling it in the Shrewsbury Town friendly.