In Focus: Arsenal should return for the impressive Doucoure in the summer

According to reports in The Mirror, Arsenal have suffered a blow in their pursuit of Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure, with the midfielder set to sign a new five-year deal worth £70,000-a-week with the Hornets.

What’s the word, then?

Well, The Mirror says that the Gunners are among the big hitters targeting a move for the impressive 24-year-old, who cost £6m when he joined Watford from French side Rennes just under two years ago.

However, The Mirror says that the Hertfordshire-based club are ready to reward the Frenchman for his fine performances this season by making him the highest-paid player at the club, and they are not willing to sell him for any price during the January transfer window.

The report adds that the player’s mobility and box-to-box nature has seen him compared to former Arsenal stars Patrick Vieira and Abou Diaby.

How has Doucoure done this season?

He has been very impressive.

The midfielder is Watford’s top goalscorer in the Premier League with six goals in 19 top flight outings, including against Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United.

It carries on from an impressive spell with Rennes, when he netted 16 times and provided a further 15 assists in 92 appearances in all competitions for the Ligue 1 side.

Would Arsenal still be interested next summer?

They certainly could be, yes.

If the 24-year-old, who celebrates his birthday on New Year’s Day, continues the form he has shown in the opening few months of the campaign in 2018, then there is no doubt that he could still be a target for the Gunners, as well as some of the other top six Premier League clubs at the end of the season.

The fact that he can play as a defensive or central midfielder will certainly appeal to Arsene Wenger, with the former an area they still need to look to strengthen.