Everton have announced that they have completed the signing of Abdoulaye Doucoure from Watford for a reported £22 million transfer fee, with the 27-year-old getting a three-year contract with an option for a fourth, according to 90MIN.
The French footballer was expected to exit the Hertfordshire based club after the Golden Boys finished 19th at the Premier League table last campaign and suffered relegation to the second-tier of English football.
The Toffees have already completed deals for Allan (from Napoli) and James Rodriguez (Real Madrid), while they have also hired the services of Niels Nkounkou on a free transfer.
The Frenchman told the club’s website:
“I have been waiting a long time to come here and now it has happened so I am very happy.
“I had some interest from other clubs but from the beginning when Everton showed an interest in me I told my agent to focus on Everton. It was the only club I wanted to join.
“Everton has a big history in English football and it is a good club for me to have a step up in my career. I am very happy now to be an Everton player and very excited for the future.”
The Blues wanted to sign the 27-year-old last summer when Marco Silva was the manager at Goodison Park, but the Hornets turned down their offer of around £35m for the player.
With Carlo Ancelotti’s side hiring Doucoure, Allan and Rodriquez, it will be interesting to see how their midfield looks when they face Tottenham Hotspur in their opening match of the season.
Ancelotti mainly used a 4-4-2 system last campaign, with the Italian boss employing Gylfi Sigurdsson, Andre Gomes, Tom Davies and Fabian Delph in central midfield.
The Colombian footballer James would be expected to play centrally behind a centre-forward while Abdoulaye and Allan could be given holding roles.
Everton finished 12th at the Premier League table last season but they will be looking to move higher up the table this campaign.