Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti seems to be very much in the market for a new defensive midfield addition and a new name has emerged this week.
According to Transfer Checker, the Toffees are one of several top-flight teams to have enquired about Abdoulaye Doucoure with Watford relegated to the Championship.
Other teams in contact include Arsenal, Wolves, Leicester City and West Ham.
It is claimed that this is merely interest as no bids have yet arrived for the 27-year-old. It also remains to be seen how much he’d command with Transfermarkt valuing him at £18m.
One name that Ancelotti has regularly been mooted with is his old Napoli enforcer Allan and latest reports suggest that Marcel Brands has actually raised their initial offer to €38m (£35m).
Whilst he’d be a fantastic addition at Goodison Park, the club can’t afford to hinge their hopes on clinching him, so having an alternative in the form of Doucoure makes a ton of sense.
The uncapped Frenchman comes with bags of Premier League experience after joining the Hornets four years ago for just £8m.
Doucoure is a fantastic box-to-box midfielder who has been one of the shining lights in north London – per WhoScored, he averaged 1.7 tackles, 1.6 shots, 1.1 dribbles and 1 key pass per game. This is in a side that was relegated after all.
Former Toffees boss Marco Silva was a huge admirer of the Watford star during his time in Merseyside, once lauding him as a “high quality player” before the two teams went head-to-head.
While BT Sport pundit Owen Hargreaves has previously likened him to Paul Pogba, claiming:
“He’s one of those players who can give a team so much, he used to play a lot deeper but now he’s in the box a lot more. He’s got goals, he’s got assists he’s so athletic. He’s got that frame of Paul Pogba, he’s got a good touch and he can finish.”
Owen Hargreaves on Doucoure.
The praise doesn’t just stop there with Jamie Redknapp believing the 27-year-old is one of the most “underrated” players in the Premier League, so if Everton are unable to clinch Allan, then they could have themselves a steal with Doucoure instead.
AND in other news, Everton could land a major upgrade to Ancelotti’s frontline