Everton reportedly agrees Doucoure fee as Ancelotti strikes again

Doucoure to Everton
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Carlo Ancelotti is not messing around.

The Everton manager is nearing medicals for Napoli star Allan and Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez, and Wednesday took yet another step toward unlocking a world of midfield options for the Toffees.

That step is the $31 million purchase of Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucoure, who would move to the blue side of Merseyside pending personal terms and a medical.

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The move(s) would give Everton an array of versatile midfielders, with Doucoure bringing 17 goals and 12 assists in 129 Premier League outings with Watford.

We have clues on how Ancelotti likes to use two of those players, Allan and James, having managed them at Napoli and Real/Bayern, respectively.

Rodriguez’s best Real season came under Ancelotti, and the Colombian was used as a winger in 16 matches and a midfielder, attacking or more central, on another 13.

Allan is a defensively-sound player with some attacking upside while Doucoure can play up-and-down the center of the park.

The club also has Andre Gomes, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Fabian Delph, and Tom Davies among its midfield options and will eventually have promising but injury-struck Jean-Philippe Gbamin back in the fold.

Does Ancelotti view James as a winger and have a plan to stick with a 4-4-2, or might he look to a 4-3-3 with Gomes or Doucoure next to Allan underneath James?

It could take some time for the new pieces to meld with the existing Toffees given the season’s start is less than 2 weeks away, but imagine an attack-minded 4-3-3 like this:

Richarlison — Calvert-Lewin — James Rodriguez

Allan — Doucoure — Gomes

Digne — Holgate — Keane — Coleman

Pickford

Or a 4-3-1-2 (4-4-2) closer to this:

Calvert-Lewin — Richarlison

James Rodriguez

Allan — Doucoure — Gomes

Digne — Holgate — Keane — Coleman

Pickford

Ancelotti also loves himself a nice 4-4-2, which could work with Rodriguez wide right, Gomes or Doucoure dropped to the bench, and a new option at left mid (maybe a mix of young Anthony Gordon, who recently signed a new deal, and Gylfi Sigurdsson):

Calvert-Lewin — Richarlison

 Gordon — Allan — Doucoure — James Rodriguez

Digne — Holgate — Keane — Coleman

Pickford

Pickford is amongst the only question marks after another rough year for the ex-Sunderland man. There have been rumors linking Everton with longtime Manchester United backup Sergio Romero, as the weak links above aren’t difficult to identify.

This is a good team, maybe a top six challenger if Calvert-Lewin, Gomes, and Holgate can find the next level.