Doucoure 2.0: Everton can replicate £20m feat in teen star Unsworth fears holding back – opinion

Doucoure 2.0: Everton can replicate £20m feat in teen star Unsworth fears holding back – opinion

Everton enjoyed a boisterous summer rebuilding Carlo Ancelotti’s midfield with the arrivals of Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure to partner Andre Gomes at Goodison Park, having decided that Fabian Delph, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Tom Davies were not at the standard required.

Doucoure has since started all seven available Premier League games, as one of just four players alongside Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Michael Keane and Yerry Mina in doing so, with Ancelotti making good use of Director of Football Marcel Brands’ £20million capture.

The former Watford enforcer has brought with him all the skill displayed at Vicarage Road that led Marco Silva to covet his potential signing in a £32m deal a year prior, with Doucoure ranking first for interceptions (11), second for successful tackles (13), third for key balls (eight) and fifth for shots (five) and successful dribbles (three) in Royal Blue thus far this term, per WhoScored.

Doucoure’s debut campaign on Merseyside could arguably have not gotten off to a better start, bar his lack of scoring and only one assist, making his summer arrival a true dream outcome for Ancelotti and one that could have redefined Silva’s final months in charge.

Ancelotti may not have to wait too long for another player of Doucoure’s ilk to flourish at Goodison Park, either, as Everton’s Under 23s boss David Unsworth has been waxing lyrical over the skill he’s seen from talented teen Imam Jagne.

Jagne joined the Blues from BK Hacken in October and was instantly installed into Unsworth’s ranks, making his Toffees debut in a goalless Premier League 2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur before featuring in defeat to Manchester United.

The results have not glossed over the efforts Jagne has put in, as Unsworth believes the 17-year-old has all the hallmarks of a player capable of carrying out any midfield task.

“He’s going to be a great athlete,” Unsworth told the Liverpool Echo. “He can handle the ball, he’s a great presser of the ball.

“I’d say, when he develops and matures, he will be more of a box-to-box midfielder. He’s got great energy and you don’t want to bog him down into a holding midfield role.

“I think he can play in all of the midfield roles centrally; in a two, he can hold, and he can play wide of the three. There’s loads and loads of development in there and he’s certainly one for the future.”

Unsworth being afraid of holding Jagne’s development back by nurturing him solely as a defensive midfielder can eventually lead to the Sweden U17 international to evolve into another Doucoure-type, winning possession and creating chances at both ends of the field.

This style of play can aid Jagne’s progress into the first-team, too, as Ancelotti has shown this season that he is keen to utilise a three-man midfield with the system used in all Premier League fixtures but the 2-1 loss to Newcastle, where he was without wide duo Richarlison and Rodriguez.

The future is evidently bright for Jagne and one that could delight Everton fans for years to come.

AND in other news, Carlo Ancelotti’s injury blow comes as a timely boost for an “important” Marco Silva signing’s Everton career.

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