Former Watford forward Tommy Smith has backed Abdoulaye Doucoure to make a big money move to Paris Saint-Germain.
Doucoure has made 84 appearances for the Hornets since joining from Rennes in 2016 and his form over the past season-and-a-half, in particular, has led to reports of a move to a bigger club.
Will Doucoure leave Watford? Five key things to know…
- Abdoulaye Doucoure has made 78 appearances for Watford since 2016.
- The 26-year-old has completed the most passes (912) for the Hornets in the Premier League this season.
- His form has seen Doucoure consistently linked to the likes of Everton and Liverpool.
- Warford manager Javi Gracia recently admitted such links are no surprise.
- PSG are now reported to have also shown an interested in the £50m-rated midfielder.
Liverpool and Everton have reportedly shown their interest in the past. But Smith, a former striker who started his career at Watford, believes PSG have the clout to land Doucoure, with the French champions reportedly willing to test the Hornet’s £50m valuation of the player in January.
“He’ll be a huge loss if he does leave and ultimately he probably will do,” he told Love Sport Radio.
“When you’re talking about clubs the size of PSG, Champions League football and titles, for any player that’s going to be attractive.
“When you’re talking £50m for a player, for a club like Watford that’s enormous. I think if that is the kind of interest, it will only be a matter of time.”
Smith is a big fan of Doucoure, comparing him to Arsenal ‘invincible’ Patrick Vieira: “I’ve seen him play a number of times and he’s an exciting talent who can score goals as well.
“He’s a Vieira-esque midfielder who gets up and down and gets in both boxes.
“He’s quite physical and he’s good on the ball as well so I’m not surprised by the interest.”
Smith, however, admitted it’ll be tough for Watford to hold on to the 26-year-old, but hopes he will remain at Vicarage Road until the end of the season.
He finished: “It’s going to be tough for Watford to keep hold of him and hopefully they’ll keep hold of him in January before seeing where things take him in the summer.”
‘Doucoure could be Watford’s next Richarlison’
Speaking just before the opening of the January transfer window, Watford manager Javi Gracia said he ‘wasn’t surprised’ to hear of further speculation surrounding Doucoure’s future, given the talent the player has.
However, the Spaniard did admit the midfielder could be ‘another Richarlison’ and that he is unsure whether he can keep Doucoure at the club, saying: “Last season every week we were talking about Liverpool or Everton, all the clubs that were interested in him.
“We can speak about it again. For me, Doucoure is a great player, a very important player for us. I do not know what will happen.
“It doesn’t surprise me other clubs want to sign him because he is a very good player.
“In this moment, he is playing for us and I try to help him improve his level – thinking he is going to be with us for a long time.
“It is important the club know how important he is – the owner as well. But after that, they decide what is better for the club.
“Sometimes some players, like last season what happened with Richarlison, decide themselves. It could happen again.
“This is something we don’t want but it is football.”
Watford beat Woking 2-0 on Saturday to progress to the FA Cup fourth round and play Crystal Palace in the Premier League next weekend.