Everton boss

Alex McLeish admits it is a “surprise” that Everton have managed to pull off the signing of Abdoulaye Doucoure from Watford.

The former Aston Villa and Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes the 27-year-old will bring a physical presence the Toffees were missing in midfield.

Everton confirmed on Tuesday that the French midfielder had put pen to paper on a three-year deal at Goodison Park, with the option of a fourth year held by the club.

McLeish has tipped the former Hornet to make a big impact at Goodison Park and admits he is surprised that it is Carlo Ancelotti’s men who have managed to pull off his capture.

Asked if Doucoure was the sort of player Everton have been missing, McLeish told Football Insider: “Yeah, I believe so, he’s a very athletic guy, Doucoure, and he’s a very dangerous player making these runs from midfield.

“He’s quick and I believe that’s a good acquisition for Everton. It was a wee bit of a surprise but Everton are potentially a top-six team.

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“They probably would be expected by their supporters to have done better in the last five to ten years but things are what they are.”

Doucoure played 37 times and scored four goals for Watford as they were relegated from the Premier League last season.

He has a total of 129 top-flight appearances under his belt to date, while he has also featured in both Ligue 1 and La Liga for Stade Rennais and Granada respectively.

In other Everton news, Darren Bent has told the club to bin two players who are a “waste of money”.