According to reports from the Daily Mail and others, Arsenal are interested in signing Watford midfielder, Abdoulaye Doucoure. Doucoure is a 25-year-old French defensive midfielder. He has attracted a lot of attention from big clubs, (Arsenal, Liverpool, and Tottenham), with his consistently good performances this season in the Premier League. He has 7 goals and 2 assists in 25 appearances. He is a big, powerful, and lanky midfielder, but still has a good amount of pace, unlike Granit Xhaka, who is more of a deep lying playmaker, that doesn’t have the pace or quickness of a modern defensive midfielder. Doucoure is very similar to the beloved Patrick Vieira. He is good in the air and is a good tackler, with 64% tackling success this season.
The Frenchman would bring an element of intimidation and power to the midfield which Arsenal have been lacking for quite some time. A key part of Doucoure’s game is his mobility, he covers the most ground in Watford’s team time and time again. This is something Xhaka cannot do and this leaves Arsenal exposed if he ventures forward or wide. Doucoure has a great engine and is similar to his french counterpart in N’goloKante in terms of work-rate. He would be a great addition and would bring great stability in a midfield with the likes of Ramsey and Wilshere ahead of him. He would allow for Ramsey and Wilshere to get forward more without being caught out. He has a very good pass completion percentage over his last two seasons, 85.5%. This fits Arsenal’s possession/quick passing style of play and he brings a bite to the midfield which is lacking, especially with the offloading of Francis Coquelin in the January window.
Another benefit of bringing in Doucoure would be that he is versatile, another thing that we are lacking in our midfield. He can play in multiple systems, including a 4-2-3-1, and 3-4-3 which both are used by Wenger. This is because he is very mobile, has great stamina, and is disciplined. Also, he would bring much needed depth to the midfield. As of recent Arsenal have been starting Elneny, and Doucoure would be a huge improvement over the Egyptian who is at best a squad player. You can never go wrong with adding depth to a midfield, especially with the injury curse that hangs over Arsenal.
Doucoure would be available for excess of 20 million pounds and Arsenal definitely have the funds to get him. This is a player Arsenal fans have been waiting for to provide security for the backline, and he is not a huge name so he won’t be extremely expensive, which is right down Wenger’s alley. If Arsenal are serious about challenging for the league title, which seems evident in the recent signings of Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan, then Doucoure would be a wonderful addition and would make them serious contenders if a goalkeeper and one more central defender was also added.