Cheick Doucoure has been rumoured with a switch from RC Lens to Villa Park over the last few weeks, with Villa said to hold 'genuine interest' in the 21-year-old midfielder, who is very highly rated amongst many people! Doucouré is a midfielder who currently plays for RC Lens, and has done since 2018 when he made the switch from Real Bamako in Mali, Cheick's home country, who he has played for on five occasions so far! After joining Lens, he had a stellar season in Ligue 2, playing 34 games in a season when he was just 18, and earning a very good reputation amongst the Lens faithful.
Primarily, Doucouré is a central midfielder, with more of a defensive focus. His numbers are very impressive in most of the areas that Aston Villa would be looking at, including progression and retention.
In terms of ball progression, retention and ball winning, Doucouré is in above the 75th percentile in each, and he is just one of 5 players in the top 5 European League's to achieve such a feat last season! Doucouré is also very good in terms of pressures, completing a very very high 36.2% of his pressures! That puts him in the 95th percentile.
As I previously mentioned, Doucouré is a very good ball winner, with him being in above the 85th percentile in tackles won, and the 90th percentile for tackles won in the defensive third.
I watched two games where Doucouré played a full 90 minutes, and what I gathered from that is as follows: I think Doucouré's movement would be very welcome in the Villa team, and I believe he's very aware of other players positioning and always knows where his next pass is going, which of course is very valuable! I think Doucouré may not be able to slot straight into the Villa team, but if he had a season of sporadic appearances and learning in training, he would be a real asset for the Villans!
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