Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure has suffered a fractured foot. 
The French midfielder is set for a eight to ten week stay on the side-lines which could greatly damage Everton’s aspirations to finish in the UEFA Champions League places.

Doucoure arrived at the club in a deal worth £20 million in the summer from relegated Watford.

Everton fans were excited at the prospect of a fully refurbished midfield with Doucoure  playing a crucial role of an energetic and physical box-to-box midfielder with fellow midfield arrival, Allan.

After a relatively slow start to life at Everton, Doucoure would soon grow into a vital asset of the Everton midfield.

As further injuries continued to pile up, Ancelotti was forced to play the former Watford man further up field rather than in his original holding role.

His performances would soon take a tumultuous upturn with Doucoure thriving in his more familiar role and further showcasing why Everton payed the money for such an experienced midfielder.

Injuries to crucial names such as Allan, Tom Davies, James Rodriguez and Andre Gomes has seen Doucoure feature in 25 games this season.

Ahead of a critical top four clash at Chelsea, Ancelotti revealed that the Frenchman would miss up to 10 weeks of action after suffering a fractured foot in training.

The absence of Doucoure’s energy and pace will be a sore miss for the toffees as the season reaches the business end.

Doucoure’s presence was missed in the 2-1 home defeat against Burnley. A lack of press from the midfield allowed Burnley to play through easily into attacking areas.

Burnley found easy passages through play and looking more than comfortable in playing the ball a little more freely compared to their usual rugged defensive style.

Allan, who is usually one of the most reliable tacklers of the ball and one of the Toffee’s best performers this season, was bested in the midfield battle and would often look in need of another defensive yet lively presence to match his aggressive tackling ability.

The game often looked to open up in the Clarets favour way too often and further granted open efforts on goal with the midfield further struggling to cover their defensive backline.

Everton’s home form has become an extensive issue raised in recent months with many pundits speculating that it could hold the Blues back from securing a place in the UEFA Champions League.

Without such a dominant presence in their midfield for likely the remainder of the season, Everton could potentially miss out on their chance to play in the Champions League and may have to settle with a spot in the UEFA Europa League as a means of achieving further credibility and interest in the transfer market.

Everton now face league leaders Manchester City in the FA Cup and return to league action against Crystal Palace after the international break.

With Doucoure now spending a long period on the side-lines and after a recent run of underwhelming results and performances, every game is now expected to be a must-win, uphill grind as fans hope the Blues can get their top four aspirations back on track.

Featured Image: Wiki Commons – Author: S. Plaine