Former Arsenal target Abdoulaye Doucoure has told Watford’s official website how he was inspired by Patrick Vieira growing up after watching him closely during his time with the Gunners.
The Daily Mirror reported in March 2018 that Arsenal were one of the clubs monitoring the then-£40 million-rated midfielder.
Perhaps surprisingly, Doucoure remains at Vicarage Road nearly two years on.
And he has now explained how an Arsenal great was his main inspiration growing up at a time when France were dominating on the international stage while Arsene Wenger’s men were key players in the Premier League.
“My favourite of them all was Patrick Vieira,” he told Watford’s official website while discussing France’s great squad. “He’s my favourite ever midfielder. I looked up to him because while I was growing up, I watched him playing for the national team and Arsenal and he was a great example for me to follow.
“I enjoyed watching his skills and trying to repeat them. He could do everything; he was the perfect midfielder. I think now a lot of midfielders can get forward and score goals but also defend well, but back then it wasn’t like that and he was one of the first. That’s why he’s so important and one of the best.”
TBR View – Arsenal should reignite interest this summer
Arsenal have a number of midfielders within their squad. But perhaps, Mikel Arteta should look at pushing for the Gunners to reignite their interest in Doucoure this summer.
Watford have struggled this season and could still be relegated from the top flight. But Doucoure has still shown that he is a class act.
He has scored 16 goals and contributed 10 assists since the start of the 2017/18 campaign. And he is capable of playing in a deeper role or in an advanced position.
And given his admiration for Vieira, it would arguably not be a huge surprise if he was interested in a move to the Emirates if Arsenal came calling.
With the attacking quality Arsenal now boast, Doucoure would arguably be a fantastic addition to sit behind them working in the middle of the park.
He may struggle to be the next Vieira. But coming anywhere close to being like his countryman would make him an excellent signing for Arsenal.