3 options Everton have to replace Abdoulaye Doucoure in the lineup

Everton (Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images) /
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Everton will be without Abdoulaye Doucoure for the Manchester United clash and subsequent fixtures against Fulham and Crystal Palace. The Malian international was shown the red card in the game against Spurs and remains suspended for three games, throwing Sean Dyche’s plans into jeopardy and forcing the manager to come up with an alternative plan.

Since Dyche took over the reins at Goodison Park he has deployed a midfield of Doucoure, Amadou Onana and Idrissa Gueye. The excellent performances from the midfield have propelled this Everton side to victories and even taken points off the opposition in difficult circumstances. One of the major reasons why Dyche has been able to instill a relentless mentality and intensity in the team is because of the dynamic midfielders he has at his disposal.

Doucoure has been reborn under the former Burnley manager as his Everton career has taken a complete U-turn. The former Watford man was on the verge of leaving Everton in the January transfer window after falling out of favour under Frank Lampard and even training alone.

3 options to replace suspended Everton midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure

With Dyche coming in, the slate was wiped clean and Doucoure was instantly brought back in the lineup. The 30 year old does strike as a midfielder that would fit seamlessly into Dyche’s system. Doucoure is typically a workhorse who brings tenacity to the engine room alongside some attacking traits that are useful in the final third.

Prior to the Spurs game, Doucoure had scored twice and assisted another two goals in three games as he continued his strong showings under Dyche. The red card in itself is a disaster and coping without Doucoure will be a daunting task for Everton.

Starting James Garner

One option to replace Doucoure is to start James Garner in place of the Malian. The summer recruit has had a shaky start to his career at Everton as a back injury had ruled him out of action since November. Garner has just returned and made a six minute cameo appearance against Spurs where he looked solid and confident on the ball.

Garner possesses fine passing skills and ability to retain the ball much better than Doucoure. So, Everton will be getting some other incentives too if the former Manchester United man slots into the midfield. However, his presence and movement in the final third is not one of his strong suits and Everton will sorely miss Doucoure in that aspect.

Starting Tom Davies

Tom Davies also put on an impressive show in a short cameo coming on for Onana against Spurs. The local lad slotted straight into the central midfield role and executed the responsibilities shouldered upon him.

Davies at times can be erratic but when in his element, the 24 year old is capable of putting on quite a show in the central midfield. Doucoure and Davies are miles apart in terms of physique and techniques but Davies has the ability to carry out any midfield role.

Moving Alex Iwobi to the midfield

Alex Iwobi transformed into an impressive central midfielder in the opening games for Everton under Lampard this year. The Nigerian didn’t just do a respectable job but instead aced from the central midfield. So much so, that Lampard continued to use him in a midfield three almost every game.

Moving Iwobi to the midfield could see Demarai Gray shift to the right flank, taking up Iwobi’s role and Ellis Simms starting up top as Dominic Calvert-Lewin remains sidelined for the United clash.

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Will the absence of Abdoulaye Doucoure hurt Everton?