Watford should hold on to Abdoulaye Doucoure at all costs
According to the Daily Express, Everton have had a £32million bid for French midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure turned down by Watford as the Hornets look to fend off interest in one of their star players from the previous campaign
Daily Express understands that Everton are yet to make an improved offer for the 26-year-old central midfielder, and a decision regarding any further approach for Doucoure would have to be made before the transfer deadline on Thursday.
Everton’s interest in Doucoure comes as a surprise to many given that the Toffees have already spent big to bring in the likes of Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Fabian Delph from Mainz and Man City respectively to cover for the departure of Idrissa Gana Gueye, whilst Andre Gomes has also been signed permanently from Barcelona.
Indeed, Gueye’s departure has left a big hole in Everton’s midfield and despite bringing in a couple of fresh faces, Abdoulaye Doucoure would add that little bit more depth and quality to his options in the middle of the park.
Just to remind the fans, Silva is very much aware of Doucoure’s range of qualities as a central midfielder, having worked with the Frenchman during his managerial days at Vicarage Road.
Watford are under no pressure to sell the 26-year-old though, given that he is currently under contract until the summer of 2023, having only penned a long-term deal last season.
Interestingly, Watford have opted against spending too heavily this summer after a promising campaign last time around, which saw Javi Gracia’s side make it all the way through to the finals of the FA Cup and narrowly miss out on a top-ten finish in the Premier League.
Veteran centre-back Craig Dawson has been brought in from West Brom, whilst they have also added Brazilian prodigy Joao Pedro to their ranks as one for the future. And with the deadline on Thursday looming large, it doesn’t look like Watford are too keen to do any further business this summer.
To put things into perspective, it is imperative to say that Watford should prioritise keeping hold of all their star players if they are to capitalise on their promising campaign last term and challenge for better things next season.
Doucoure has been one of the club’s standout performers over the past couple of seasons and losing him at this point of time would be a massive blow to Watford’s chances of challenging for a Europa League spot this season given that they would hardly have enough time left before the deadline to identify a suitable replacement.
Even if they cash in on him and reinvest the money to bring in a like-to-like alternative, whoever comes through the door would take time to acclimatise to the new surroundings, thus disrupting the club’s overall progress.
The 26-year-old has contributed with an impressive 12 goals and 9 assists in 72 Premier League outings over the past couple of seasons, figures which clearly reveal that he has been one of the mainstays of the Hornets’ midfield in recent times.
A tenacious and hardworking central midfielder blessed with a good balance in attacking and defensive attributes, Doucoure not only excels with his ability to win possession back with tackles and carry the ball forward with intent, but he is also a very intelligent passer of the ball with a keen eye for defence-splitting through balls in the final third.
Watford have the likes of Tom Cleverly and Domingos Quina as viable alternatives but neither of them offers the same range of qualities on the pitch as Doucoure does.
Hence, it is pretty clear that the Hornets absolutely need him to stay for the foreseeable future if they are really serious about challenging for a European spot.
Keeping all the aforementioned factors in mind, it is easy to see why Doucoure is such an indispensable component of Watford’s midfield, and losing his services this summer would deal a huge blow to them ahead of the upcoming season.
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That said, the Hornets should fight tooth and nail to hold on to the Frenchman and there is no better method than slapping a huge price tag when it comes to warding off interest from the potential suitors.