Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucouré: ‘Being the second-youngest of eight has helped’

The French midfielder has had his share of setbacks on his way up but is now a vital cog for a Watford side that, he says, is blessed with a manager and several players who can go on to even bigger things

If Watford’s performances have made them one of the pleasant surprises of the Premier League season so far, it is partly because Abdoulaye Doucouré has finally been able to show his class. A dynamic midfield ball-winner as well as a nifty passer and a scorer of four goals so far this season, the Frenchman has had to wait a long time, and overcome a salvo of setbacks, for a chance to prove his ability.

“I’ve never given up on anything and I’ve always known how to be patient,” Doucouré says as he reflects on how he has endured two severe injuries to the same knee, several rejections and an imbroglio in which he was set to leave Watford before even starting a league game, only for the move to be aborted because paperwork arrived 33 seconds late. “Being the second-youngest of eight children has helped,” he says. “You get used to waiting your turn even if it’s just to have a go on the PlayStation. And you have to make sure you’re ready to take it when it comes. It’s the same in football.”

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