Former Everton star Michael Ball has hailed Abdoulaye Doucoure as the club’s most important player.
The French midfielder has enjoyed an exceptional start to the season under the management of Rafael Benitez.
Doucoure has made six appearances in the Premier League and has scored twice, while also providing three assists.
Signed from Watford for a fee of £20m, the midfielder has developed into one of the first names on the team sheet at Goodison Park.
Last season, he played 29 times in the league, and the Toffees struggled immensely when he was injured towards the end of the campaign.
Indeed, he missed a total of eight games between March and May and Everton only won two of them.
And Ball believes that Doucoure can now claim to be the club’s single most important first-team player under the management of Rafael Benitez.
He said: “Doucoure is our key guy. If he’s missing out of that central midfield role, no matter who’s alongside him, we’ll struggle.
“Allan can’t do it by himself, Tom Davies can’t do it by himself, they need a guy like Doucoure to run over every blade of grass and I think one of the fans said he saw him running past his window once when he was playing a game because he’s everywhere.”
Doucoure has a contract until 2023 and is valued at £22.5m by Transfermarkt.