Everton midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure is out until the international break according to Carlo Ancelotti.
The midfielder missed Monday’s 2-0 loss against Chelsea as the Toffees lost ground in the race for the top four.
In an exclusive interview with Nigel Martyn, he told us he felt Doucoure was sorely missed at Stamford Bridge.
He thinks Everton are at their best when the midfielder, who arrived from Watford in the summer, starts.
“Doucoure was a big miss at Chelsea,” said Martyn. “He’s been immense in midfield for the last few weeks.
“Probably goes under the radar a little bit when (Gylfi) Sigurdsson or James Rodriguez do something amazing or Richarlison gets a couple of goals.
MORE EVERTON STORIES
“His workrate box to box and his breakup of play and then with the ball, he’s good with the ball.
“He’s a top player and Everton are at their best when he’s one of the three in midfield, definitely.”
The blow of Doucoure’s injury has been softened somewhat by Allan’s return to fitness at the heart of midfield.
It may also provide Tom Davies with an opportunity to continue in the side, having impressed when Allan was out.
But Doucoure’s all-round game is something Everton will find it tough to replace – especially in the FA Cup against Manchester City later this month.
Ancelotti will hope to have Doucoure available from April onwards for the very business end of the season.
Nigel Martyn speaking to Everton News: Archive