Journalist Paul Brown has claimed that Rafael Benitez wants to add a midfielder to his Everton squad with similar qualities to Abdoulaye Doucoure.
With the transfer window set to open in less than two months, clubs will be drawing up their plans for January, and it appears that Benitez knows what he wants already.
How has Doucoure fared at Everton?
Since joining the Toffees from Watford for £20m in September 2020, Doucoure has established himself as a regular fixture in the side's starting XI. He featured in 29 Premier League matches last term, and played every minute of Everton's first eight top-flight fixtures this season before he picked up a foot injury.
His absence has certainly been felt by Benitez's men. Doucoure chipped in with two goals and four assists prior to his injury as Everton made a solid start to the season.
In the three matches that he has missed, the Premier League outfit have earned just a single point, and have conceded seven goals, including five in one game against Watford.
What has Brown said about Benitez's transfer plans at Everton?
Brown has revealed that Benitez is looking for a player who can affect the game from an attacking and defensive perspective, much like Doucoure manages to do when at his best.
He told GIVEMESPORT: “It seems like Benitez wants a similar type of player in the transfer window. We’re told that he’s looking for a box-to-box midfielder. Well, that is Doucoure really.”
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Should Benitez be going after a like-for-like replacement for Doucoure?
Some fans may point out that it is good to have variety in a squad, so bringing in someone with comparable attributes to Doucoure might not be a good idea, as it could leave Everton with two players in the middle of the park performing the same role.
Then again, it could actually be a smart move on Benitez's part to find a like-for-like replacement for Doucoure. The 28-year-old has missed a considerable number of matches during his 14 months at Everton due to foot problems, and the Spanish coach may have concerns about keeping Doucoure fit.
The 6 foot midfielder has shown that he is vital to Everton this season, though, and when he is unavailable, the side looks lightweight in the middle of the park.
Therefore, by getting in someone who can cover for Doucoure, this should ensure that the team are not as badly affected when he misses out, and can still compete with some of the best sides in the country.
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