After arriving in Goodison Park in the summer for a fee in the region of £20 million, Doucoure is determined to prove the doubters wrong about his abilities.
In his home country of France, Abdoulaye Doucoure believes he is “underestimated” after being “injured” by comparisons between him and Everton’s former midfielder, Idrissa Gana Gueye, while the duo was allegedly being pursued by Paris Saint Germain.
Abdoulaye Doucoure believes that James Rodriguez’s commitment to Everton has helped him realize his dream of playing alongside “great players.
Gueye moved from Everton to Paris Saint Germain in 2019 for £28 million, and in an interview with Onze Mondial, Doucoure claims that he is not considered a “great player” despite his connections with the giants of Ligue 1 in France.
The 27-year-old, who has played for France at youth level and recently turned down an international appointment from Mali, also hinted that Real Madrid “made a mistake” in allowing James Rodriguez to join Everton.
“That hurt me a bit because I had played in the Premier League for three years. I had very good statistics, even better than certain French internationals.
The former Watford midfielder said: “I remember when I played on [French TV station] Canal Plus. I really didn’t enjoy that. It was at the time PSG was following me.
“And one of the journalists at that time was a bit pro-Idrissa Gueye. It wasn’t bad, but still. It was a bit like: “Abdoulaye, you’re a good player, but you’re not good enough to play for PSG or a big club.
“I can always do better, I can make my dreams come true, that will be my answer to all those people who might have doubted me at one moment or another”.
“I still have this feeling: ‘He is a good player, but not a top player or not for a top club’. In France I am a little underestimated, yes, sure. My fight will always be there to prove to people that I deserve to be in my place.
Rodriguez was a driving force behind Everton’s eye-catching start to the season, and Doucoure admits that the whole team benefits from his presence in Merseyside.
“He has everything. I understand why they paid 80 million euros for him. He just lacked minutes and self-confidence. This year he is at his level, he is mentally and physically good.
“I think it was a mistake by Real Madrid to let him go,” he said. “I could talk to him. He told me that Zidane had his starting number XI and it was hard to get used to it. Real Madrid has many great players, but James is a great footballer.
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“He is also with a manager who knows him well. We all benefit from this. I have always dreamed of being with great players. Nowadays that is the case. I hope it won’t stay that way.”