Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has admitted that he did not initially want to sign Abdoulaye Doucoure in last summer’s transfer window.
The ex-Watford man signed in September as part of Ancelotti’s plan to bolster his midfield.
James Rodriguez and Allan also beefed up the Toffees’ ranks and the trio have proved crucial.
However, Ancelotti has admitted that Frenchman Doucoure was not a player he had targeted himself.
Instead, the manager‘s superiors recommended the signing and held talks before moving forward.
“When we started to talk about the transfer window, Doucoure was on the list of the club,” Ancelotti told reporters (via Goal).
“He was not on my list, but we talked together and we both agreed to sign him.
“I think it was, after six months, a really fantastic signing because Doucoure is playing really well.”
The 28-year-old has played in 23 of Everton‘s 24 games this season, chipping in with two goals and three assists.
In fact, he has only missed three games all season, also playing in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup.
Ancelotti rates best Doucoure traits
Speaking about the best of Doucoure’s qualities, Ancelotti added: “Doucoure is really good physically and he’s able to recover really fast, really quick.
“He doesn’t show problems with his physical condition. He has played a lot of games but he is still really good, fresh, and has no problems at all.”
The player’s contract expires in the summer of 2023, but Everton have the option to extend their terms by 12 months.
He has proved crucial in the Toffees’ hunt for European football next season.
Everton currently sit in seventh in the Premier League table, five points off fourth with two games in hand. Indeed, Monday’s clash with Southampton is one such game.