Tottenham Hotspur have been linked in the Daily Mail with a summer move for Watford star Abdoulaye Doucoure.
The former France under-21 international has been in sparkling form for the Hornets this term and was watched by Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino during the 4-1 win over Chelsea on Monday night.
Doucoure was again one of the standout performers at Vicarage Road and laid on two assists as his side stunned the Premier League champions.
With the 25-year-old’s contract running until 2020 and Watford keen to tie him down to an extension, it is thought that it would take a bid well in excess of the club’s current record of £20 million, which was received when Odion Ighalo made the switch to Chinese outfit Changchun Yatai last year, for Tottenham to prise him away.
Having played most of the campaign in a holding midfield role, Doucoure still boasts an impressive tally of seven top-flight goals and three assists.
And with Tottenham’s Mousa Dembele not getting any younger, the former Rennes man could prove to be a natural replacement in the longer term.
Whilst Doucoure has made headlines with his goalscoring exploits this term, it is his reading of the game and timing of tackles that has earned him a reputation as one of the league’s most solid midfielders.
He also possesses a strong passing range and his distribution to the flanks from the centre has been a key feature in how Watford have gone about their business throughout 2017-18.
Like Tottenham’s Dembele, Doucoure is able to drive the team forward from deep, arrives late in the box when the ball is crossed in and has demonstrated an eye for a long-range effort.
Quick and powerful across the ground, he is comfortable in possession and does not shy away from beating a man, although his dribbling in tight spaces is perhaps not quite at the same level as the Belgian’s.
Doucoure’s discipline is a slight question mark having picked up seven yellow cards in the Premier League this term, but equally one could argue that those issues come with the territory considering his role in the team.
Dembele has been a fantastic servant to Tottenham, as evidenced by his continued presence in the team over nearly six seasons and under three different managerial regimes.
However, he is now struggling to consistently exert his influence on matches consistently in the same way and Doucoure appears to be a player who could add energy, technical skill and defensive know-how to the Lilywhites’ midfield.
It may take some investment to bring him to North London but at 25 he still has many years at the top ahead of him to repay Tottenham’s potential transfer fee.