Everton: Abdoulaye Doucouré, the Toffees’ new offensive weapon


The arrival of Rafael Benitez on the Everton bench allowed Abdoulaye Doucouré to free himself and display a much more offensive face. The Frenchman, more and more essential with the Toffees and flourished in his new role, is now one of the most decisive midfielders in the Premier League. Deprived of the former Rennais for a few games, the Spanish coach welcomes his return with open arms as he has missed the collective in recent weeks.

“It’s one of my main qualities as a player and I want to take advantage of it this season. I can be in the box more often, create a lot of chances and be in the last third of the pitch to score more goals ”. This is what declared a few weeks ago, on the official site of Everton, an Abdoulaye Doucouré with a much more offensive face since the start of this 2021-2022 season. The least we can say is that the former Stade Rennais midfielder is currently respecting his personal goals. The No. 16 of the Toffees, present in all the good shots (6 key passes, 79% of successful passes in the opposing camp), is one of the most decisive midfielders in the Premier League since the start of the season.

With 2 goals in 8 league games, he is already doing better than last year (1 achievement in 29 appearances). A finding also observed in terms of assists. Abdoulaye Doucouré has already given 4 “assists” this season, against 3 in the previous exercise. His more offensive intentions are also more generally reflected in the numbers. The one who was recruited 22 M € at Watford in September 2020 tries more luck (14 shots, against 18 last year), is more precise (5 shots on target, 36% accuracy against 28% in 20-21). The arrival of Rafael Benitez to succeed Carlo Ancelotti this summer on the bench for the Toffees has changed the game for the native of Meulan-en-Yvelines, who is one of the indisputable elements on the side of Goodison Park, as at Vicarage Road.

Rafa Benitez changed everything

Where the current Real Madrid coach preferred to rely on his defensive qualities to make him a pillar in front of the defense, Rafa Benitez has surrounded Abdoulaye Doucouré differently. The Spanish technician has decided to leave much more freedom to the French, who is thriving in his new role. “Last season, I had a deeper, more defensive role than in Watford. I had the same skills but I had to adapt ” also explained the main concerned recently the official site of Everton. “I’m very happy with my games this season and I’m learning every day with the coach. Everything has changed in my game and my understanding of the game has improved. The manager gave me a lot of advice, simple advice that makes a difference, and I try to follow it on the pitch and help the team as much as possible. “

“It is clear that he has the energy and the potential to penetrate the surface. Sometimes I said to him: “Go ahead, let go because you can be a threat in attack”. Sometimes we joke that he hits the 5-goal mark, he’s already scored 2. He’s doing well and focusing on that, so I’m really happy. It is an additional motivation for any player ”, confided Rafa Benitez about him, also on the site of the Toffees. Unlike last season, when Doucouré played in different positions to meet the needs of the team, he settled comfortably in the powerful double pivot he forms with Allan. The complicity outside the field the two men also allows them to better understand each other on the green rectangle and to create more automatisms while garnering confidence.

A real box-to-box among the best circles in the Premier League

If in France, some will think of N’Golo Kanté when talking about a player “with 3 lungs”, others will underline the enormous activity of Abdoulaye Doucouré in England. Many experts get wet and believe that the Ile-de-France, who has also progressed technically, is currently the best in his position in PL, like Tony Cascarino, former OM player today consultant for TalkSPORT. In a true box-to-box profile that is becoming increasingly rare in the Premier League, the Frenchie is enjoying himself on the other side of the Channel. His projection skills allow him to shine brightly, all the more so in a team emphasizing blocks (Everton is 20th in possession).

However, his new role does not exempt him from carrying out his defensive tasks. He is always so present and reassuring in front of his defense (72 recoveries, 45% of successful tackles, 5 shots blocked, 9 interceptions, 11 clearances). Without forgetting that his physique, which he has developed a lot since his departure from France, and his height (1.85m) allow him not to be walked on, both on the ground (43/80) and in the tunes (11/17), an essential aspect in a league as rough as the Premier League.

Beautiful people on Doucouré

You will understand, Abdoulaye Doucouré is popular with our English neighbors. It is not by chance that, according to our information, several top names in His Majesty’s Kingdom but also in Spain are interested in his profile. At 28, the one who established himself as one of the leaders of the Everton locker room seemed to be in better shape than ever before his foot injury which made him miss the last 4 meetings of the Toffees. The latter, who have not won any match without the French (3 defeats, 1 draw), are also in great difficulty in the game. The return of Abdoulaye Doucouré, this Sunday in Brentford (3 pm, 13th day of the Premier League ) should therefore do the greatest good to Rafael Benitez and his family. The opportunity for the former Hornet to consolidate his notoriety a little more in Everton and in the Premier League.

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