Aaron Ramsey hasn’t been in the playing 11 in a majority of matches this season and reports tell us that he is either going to leave for minimal money in January or for free in the summer transfer window. So, the question which pops up is his replacement and Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucoure is the most likely one for Arsenal.
14 games unbeaten is surely a great feat for the gunners. Everything seems to be going great in Emery’s first season as manager- player’s performances, fitness and whatnots. However, the Wenger regime did leave some mess- First Jack Wilshere’s contract and now it’s Ramsey’s. Doucoure has been brilliant for the hornets and has been playing a major role for Watford since last season.
Arsenal are reportedly keeping an eye on Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure. (Calcio Mercato) pic.twitter.com/nYUbRHK1Hp
— Arsenal Transfers (@ArsenalNews93) November 1, 2018
Doucoure would blend perfectly in the midfield with Lucas Torreira. The Uruguayan seldom bursts into the final third, and Doucoure would be a wise partner to him, a box-to-box midfielder whose late runs into the penalty area are both elusive and decisive. Doucoure’s strength and height is what lacks in the Arsenal midfield. Recently, many have noticed that we struggle to maintain possession during throws. With the Frenchman’s abilities, that is one area we could improve on.
Doucoure is known to be very comfortable when in posession and having played in the premier league, the hornet already knows the pace and aggression. Both, Liverpool and PSG are after the Frenchman too.
7 goals and 4 assists from 37 league appearances last season serves to validate common perception that Doucoure is a threat to be feared. 4 assists from 10 fixtures already this season just shows his quality. In my opinion, he doesn’t have the same skill-set as Aaron Ramsey but would blend in with the team better. A midfield with Torreira and Doucoure is a one which would be hard to pass. The man reminds of Abou Diaby- his structure and playing style.
But, what about Granit Xhaka? The Swiss international has delighted the fans in recent matches. The free-kick vs Crystal Palace and his defensive display vs Liverpool have been fantastic. With the Frenchman in the side, there would be stiff competition for the place. Another candidate for the job is the Athletico-Madrid man- Thomas Partey.
His versatility of playing both defense and midfield is awesome. He has similar capabilities to Doucoure, except for the height and premier league experience. However, the Ghanian plays in the first 11 and clinching him from a place like Athletico Madrid would be a tough task with a high price tag. Watford have slapped a 40 million euro (£35 million) price tag on Doucoure which is average in today’s market.
It is up to Sven Mislintat to convince Unai on making Ramsey’s replacement. We might not even see a replacement with Xhaka in the playing 11 and Guendouzi on the bench. However, to compete against the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool next season, we definitely need to invest in our midfield. Doucoure is in the market and can prove to be both as a good replacement for Ramsey and a perfect addition for the Gunners.