Mia Amore Abdoulaye Doucouré
Posted by Luke McKenzie | Published on March 8, 2016
On the final day of the January transfer window, Watford completed the transfer of long-term target Abdoulaye Doucouré from Rennes and sent him straight out on loan to sister club Granada for first team football so that Watford can have him ready for the first team next season.
Watford wanted to sign Doucouré in the summer of 2015 but the player said he wasn’t ready to leave Rennes and agreed to stay for another season. However, that all changed when Rennes sacked their manager, allowing Doucouré to leave in January and Watford were quick to snap him up.
Doucouré made 75 appearances for Rennes, scoring 12 goals. He plays in the center of midfield but can fill in at attacking midfield too. He’s primarily a box to box type and models his game on Yaya Toure. Since joining Granada on loan, He’s made 5 appearances but 2 of them have come from the bench, his last 3 appearances he’s been Granada’s best player and it’s made me wonder, Why on earth did we loan him out?!. Doucouré has this awkwardness about him on the ball, a Mamadou Sakho type but so calm and so clever at the same time. His power and presence are so obvious to see when he’s playing.
In his 5 games at Granada, he’s already made 16 interceptions, made 184 passes and 3 of them were key passes. Bearing in mind he’s only started 3 of those games, that’s a pretty impressive stat. Not only that, since Doucouré has started, Granada have kept 2 clean sheets in their last 3 games, so you can tell that he improves this Granada side massively.
Against Deportivo when Doucouré got man of the match, He was breaking up play and starting attacks from his own half, Sitting in front of the back four and guarding them exceptionally well, You wouldn’t think he was just 23. As the game went on Doucouré seemed to get stronger and have it all, Doing a fancy Cruyff turn in his own box to relieve his side of the pressure. Wise beyond his years, especially in the dying moments of the match, winning a free kick for his team to cool down the waves of attacks Granada were under. His performance in this match alone got people saying that his defensive side of the game reminded them of Sergio Busquets, Who I believe is the best Defensive Midfielder in the world.
Quique Sanchez Flores will be looking at the progress Doucouré is making at Granada and quite rightly be loving what he’s seeing. A mix of Watson and Capoue with the way he can read the game and sense danger before anyone else, not only that he’s so calm but can get around the pitch with his long legs and non-stop engine. You can see Doucouré just oozes class and his quality to close a game out in dying moments will put that charming smile on the face of Flores. I’m sure the word ‘amazing’ will be used frequently next season to describe Doucouré.
I fear for Ben Watson next season with Doucouré coming back from his loan spell, I have a sneaky feeling that he will be moved to the bench or even being sold. With Suarez, Capoue, and Doucouré operating as the midfield 3 then Valon Behrami being the one to challenge the 3 and another midfielder coming in, leaving Watson free to leave.