Watford are exceeding expectations this season having had an average campaign last year and are now in contention for a Europa League spot – a huge improvement from the uncertainty surrounding their previous league attempt.
The incredible performances of Abdoulaye Doucoure have been a big part of that – the Frenchman has struck up a fear-inducing partnership with his countryman Etienne Capoue at the base of midfield and the pair are a platform for the likes of Gerard Deulofeu and Roberto Pereyra to make things happen. Doucoure doesn’t feel he is the complete article just yet, though.
Well, speaking to the Hornets’ official club website ahead of the Manchester United game, the 26-year-old said:
“I am happy with my season and my games have been very good. I have been happy with my consistency and I have played a lot of matches. But I want to score more goals this season.
“Last season, everyone discovered me and were surprised at my level. I scored seven goals and was the top goalscorer at the club.
“It was my best season last year and while this one is different; I am very happy with my statistics. We have new players, who are very good, and I have a new role in the team. I am happy with my season.”
Usually, goals from defensive midfield are a commodity and not something essential to an enforcer’s game – unless you’re Doucoure that is. Indeed, the former Rennes man was Watford’s leading goalscorer last term but his job under Javi Gracia this year is much more simple.
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The Spaniard simply asks that his big, central duo just break up play and get the ball forward, be it by a powerful, marauding dribble or by releasing a winger. Doucoure isn’t satisfied though and wants to do more for his team; perhaps this is an indicator of why the number 16 has been linked with some of Europe’s giants and why he thinks he can succeed at that level.
Will Watford have seen the last of the 6 ft beast come the summer?