According to a recent report from The Daily Mail, West Ham are interested in a move for midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure. The 26-year-old currently plays his football at fellow Premier League outfit Watford and has done so since leaving Rennes back in the winter window of 2016, with his impressive exploits in the middle of the park for the Hornets seemingly attracting interest from Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini.
And that’s because a recent report from The Daily Mail suggests that the East London outfit, alongside Marco Silva’s Everton and Thomas Tuchel’s Paris Saint-Germain, are interested in the £22.5 million-rated enforcer (as per Transfermarkt), whose arrival at West Ham, were it to happen, would go some way to giving Declan Rice his perfect midfield partner.
Ultimately, 20-year-old Rice has enjoyed a quite incredible rise in the 12 months or so from being an unproven sensation to one of the key players in Pellegrini’s starting eleven, what with the Republic of Ireland international having appeared 20 times in the Premier League so far this term, including starts in each of their last 19 matches.
And with some mightily impressive displays in that time, most notably against Chelsea and Manchester United at the London Stadium, Rice is very much the next big thing to come out of the West Ham academy, and thus a player the Hammers will do well to keep hold of in the coming years – a new deal last month will aid them in their cause though.
Yet Pellegrini has certainly needed the 20-year-old to step up this term given the lack of sufficient quality and depth in that central midfield department, what with the departure of Cheikhou Kouyate during the summer leaving the Hammers somewhat short in that area of the field.
Mark Noble has again done well in the middle of the park, but niggling injuries for Jack Wilshere and Pedro Obiang and a long-term injury issue for Carlos Sanchez has left Pellegrini with very few options in that midfield area – yet the arrival of Doucoure would finally solve that issue once and for all.
The 26-year-old has proven to be one of the most impressive central midfielders in the Premier League in the last few seasons, be it getting forward into attacking positions to create chances for Watford, or indeed breaking up play and protecting the Hornets backline slightly further back – all in all, he has shown everything needed to succeed in the top-flight.
His display against Chelsea in the Premier League last year, a match in which Javi Gracia’s men won 4-1, was symptomatic of just what Doucoure brings to the Watford midfield – his two assists enabled the front men to get into goal-scoring positions, while his combativeness and tenacity enabled his side to dominate the middle of the pitch.
Clearly, there’s a reason why Ligue 1 champions PSG have reportedly (as per The Daily Mail) been keen on the 26-year-old in recent times – he has got huge ability in the middle of the park, and at the relatively young age of 26, he only looks like getting better.
And alongside Rice, who shares a similar level of ability both on and indeed off the ball, the duo could strike up a seriously formidable partnership in the middle of the West Ham midfield – they both have composure on the ball, but both do their defensive duties adeptly as well.
And that is why a West Ham move for Doucoure is a must, as it would equip Pellegrini with the ideal man to partner Rice in the heart of his Hammers midfield.
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