Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Frank Lampard issued the following update on the 29-year-old’s health and his potential return to the starting XI.
When asked about when the midfielder could be back, the 44-year-old stated: “Yeah Doucs is fine, Doucs is fit to be in the squad”.
The question which may arise is whether Doucoure starts over Idrissa Gueye, who re-signed for the Toffees on deadline day.
Lampard has been vocal in his admiration for the Malian, with his power and relentlessness making his absence so much more pronounced.
In fact, in their opening day defeat to Chelsea, the Everton boss praised Doucoure’s combinations with Alex Iwobi, who has established himself as one of the first names on the teamsheet in recent weeks.
After that game, the Toffees manager noted: “I thought him and Abdoulaye Doucoure played very well in midfield today.
“We gave Alex and Doucs some particular instruction today, because of the threat of Chelsea playing through the lines – and their energy and their quality – and they dealt with that brilliantly.”
The 29-year-old has made 70 appearances in total for the Toffees, scoring five goals and setting up seven. He has often struggled to play in a midfield two due to his lack of defensive awareness, outlined in the fact that last season he only won possession 0.4 times per match.
However, with Lampard opting for a midfield three against Liverpool, it could be time for Doucoure to recapture his best form.
Alongside the mercurial Nigerian Iwobi, and with the defensive security offered by Amadou Onana (Everton’s second-best tackler with 2.8 per game), the former Watford gem could be given all the freedom to flex his creative muscles against West Ham, and truly kickstart his career at Goodison Park.
He has been missed by Everton, who are yet to pick up a win in this Premier League campaign. The news of his return from injury will be welcomed with open arms, as he could be integral to their chances of victory this Sunday.