Why Chelsea should go for Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucoure in the summer

In January, The Sun claimed that Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante is targeting a summer switch to Real Madrid. The Frenchman, 28, has enjoyed rich success since joining Chelsea from Leicester City in the summer of 2016. He has helped Chelsea win the Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League so far, racking up 163 appearances across all competitions.

N’Golo Kante is one of Chelsea’s most prized assets. He signed a contract extension back in November 2019, tying him with the club until 2023. The report adds both Bayern Munich and Juventus are said to be possible destinations, but the midfielder prefers a move to Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid.

The 2018 World Cup winner, however, has had to deal with injuries this term, limiting him to just 17 Premier League outings. Yet, he remains a key player for Chelsea when he is fit and available. Kante will turn 29 in March and considering the defensive midfielder’s age as well as interest from some of Europe’s top clubs, Frank Lampard would be wise to consider signing a long-term replacement for the Frenchman.

Back in January 2019, The Mirror reported that Chelsea had targeted a deadline day swoop for Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure. However, a deal didn’t materialize then and he has since stayed put at Vicarage Road. Abdoulaye Doucoure, 27, has been a consistent performer for Watford over the last couple of seasons in the Premier League. He made 35 appearances in the Premier League last season, scoring five goals and providing six assists in the process for the Hornets.

The French midfielder of Malian descent struggled in the first half of this campaign but since Nigel Pearson replaced Quique Sanchez Flores at the helm, Doucoure has regained his mojo. So far this season, he has scored three goals and assisted once in 24 league games as Watford battle relegation. As per WhoScored, Doucoure has averaged 2 tackles, 0.8 interceptions, 0.8 clearances and 0.2 blocks in 24 Premier League appearances. Going forward, he has assisted one, scored three goals and made 1.2 key passes per game.

As far as Kante is concerned, the Chelsea midfielder has played just 17 league games due to injury problems. He has averaged 2.2 tackles, 2.2 interceptions, 1.4 clearances and 0.2 blocks. Offensively, he has scored three goals and made 1.4 key passes per game. [Courtesy: WhoScored]. Kante has better numbers in almost every area of the pitch despite playing lesser games than Doucoure. Although not an instant upgrade on Kante (in terms of numbers), Doucoure would be a good option to bolster Chelsea’s midfield.