Manchester United Opinion: Why Solskjaer should sign Abdoulaye Doucoure
Back in March 2018, the Daily Mirror claimed Manchester United were one of a host of Premier League clubs interested in signing Watford’s midfield powerhouse Abdoulaye Doucoure. However, a move didn’t happen and the Frenchman stayed put at Watford.
Abdoulaye Doucoure, 26, has been immense at Vicarage Road this season and bagged five goals and six assists in 35 Premier League games for the Hornets. He has been one of the chief reasons why the Javi Gracia-managed side are in the FA Cup final and did so well in the 2018/19 campaign, even though they finished 11th on the table, following three back-to-back losses.
Manchester United ended the season in sixth position after an embarrassing final day defeat against relegated Cardiff at Old Trafford. That has set the club for upheaval after a season in which the Reds finished 32 points behind champions Manchester City.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side now face the prospect of playing in the Europa League next term after failing to qualify for the Champions League. The 46-year-old United manager faces a major rebuild this summer and will look to strengthen almost every area of the pitch.
One area Solskjaer should definitely address in the summer transfer window is the defence. Other than bringing in defensive reinforcements, he must also get a couple of central midfielders. Ander Herrera has left Old Trafford following the expiry of his contract.
Scott McTominay was the only rare bright spark during the business end of the campaign, as neither Fred nor Andreas Pereira, performed consistently. Herrera’s departure is likely to disturb the balance in midfield next season and Solskjaer should be wise to sign Abdoulaye Doucoure to replace the departed Spaniard.
Doucoure has been one of the most consistent players in the division this season, bossing games alongside Etienne Capoue with his power, passing range, tackling skills and strength. He has successfully managed to impose himself on games, with the midfielder being up to the mark from a technical and tactical point of view.
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The ex-Rennes star is a fearless player, never hesitant to fly into a challenge to break opposition’s play. He can dictate the tempo of the game, drive his team forward and take shots on goal from distance. That’s exactly the kind of signing Solskjaer needs to make to bolster his midfield. It’s easy to see Doucoure would blossom in the midfield trio with McTominay-Fred/Pogba.
Watford will be keen to keep hold of their star midfielder, but they could give up on him if United table a sizeable offer. There’s no doubt Doucoure would also be attracted by the prospect of playing for a club of the stature of United as well.