Why Arsenal must beat Spurs, Man United & Liverpool to the signing of Abdoulaye Doucoure

Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure has come to the attention of a number of Premier League clubs this season after some fine performances in the heart of their midfield.
Arsenal are believed to be interested in the 25-year-old, while Spurs, Liverpool and Manchester United have also been mentioned.

Speaking to Telefoot back in his home country last month, the midfielder opened up on his future at Vicarage Road amid interest from some of the Premier League's biggest teams.
"It’s true that these clubs are interested," he said. "But I’m at Watford for the moment and I want to finish my season well."
However, it's his next comments that will have seen Arsenal fans sit up and take notice.
Asked in a quick-fire Q&A about a move to the Gunners or Spurs, Doucoure made it clear who he would prefer to join.

Doucoure chases down Ainsley Maitland-Niles at the Emirates
"Arsenal," he replied. "Because of Arsene Wenger."
So, with Doucoure a potential new arrival at the Emirates in the summer, we kept a close eye on the highly-rated player when he faced the Gunners earlier in the month.
Here's how the Frenchman got on at the Emirates.
First half
With Arsenal fans having one eye on Doucoure at the start of the game, the midfielder barely got a touch inside the opening five minutes as the Gunners dominated possession.
However, the midfielder soon became a threat once Shkodran Mustafi had headed the hosts into the lead.
Collecting the ball outside of Petr Cech's area, Doucoure slalomed into the box past two players before Mustafi intervened and cleared the ball away from danger.

Having threatened moments earlier, the Frenchman then tested the goalkeeper with a stinging drive but Cech was alert to produce a strong save.
Despite Arsenal dominating the opening quarter of the game, the Hornets upped the pressure and Doucoure was starting to have an impact on the game
Utilising the ball well in possession, Doucoure always looked to get the Hornets moving forward and he kept spreading the ball out to the right for Daryl Janmaat to try and get the better of Sead Kolasinac and Alex Iwobi.
The Frenchman, who is known for fantastic engine, kept pushing up the pitch to offer support in attack, while also not forgetting about his defensive duties.
After seeing Ainsley Maitland-Niles out of play when the youngster looked to have got the better of Doucoure, the midfielder then showed his frustration as he was uncharacteristically outmuscled by Henrikh Mkhitaryan on the stroke of half-time.

Doucoure was not happy at losing out in a challenge to Mkhitaryan
Second half
After going in at half-time leading 1-0, Arsenal were put under intense pressure after the break as Watford went in search of an equaliser.
With Roberto Pereyra and Richarlison trying to push their side on to level the scores, Doucoure was pushing further upfield after the break.
Arsenal fans would have been impressed with his range of passing, especially a great ball to Richarlison that gave the Brazilian a slight opening.
Having lost out to Mkhitaryan in a challenge in the first half, there was only going to be one winner as he went in for a challenge with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the edge of Arsenal's box.

Doucoure had no right to come out with the ball given everything was in the striker's favour, but it was quite clear that the January signing did not fancy his chances against the midfielder.
As Watford pushed on to reduce the deficit following Aubameyang's goal on the hour mark, the Gunners hit the visitors on the counter numerous times as the Hornets looked for a way back into the game.
Drawing comparison with Arsenal great Patrick Vieira and former player Abou Diaby, this was evident in the closing stages as the player covered ground in defence and attack.

Doucoure goes up against Wilshere
The verdict
Doucoure would be a very good addition for the Gunners if he indeed sealed a move to the Emirates ahead of next season.
While it wasn't his finest game in a Watford shirt, Arsenal fans will have been fairly impressed with what they saw from the midfielder in north London.
Always willing to get on the ball and push on forward, Doucoure showcased in the first half his ability to help out in attack and it's clear to see why he's the club's top goalscorer in the league.
The player utilised the ball well throughout the game and he also helped to break up play as Arsenal went in search of adding to the scoreline.
A look at his stats for this season shows just what he can do, while his stunning performance against Chelsea at the start of February highlights just what he is capable of against the league's best teams.
It's no surprise to see why the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs and Manchester United are keen on signing him.

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