After Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Norwich, Everton now have the same number of points, wins and goal difference as they did at the same stage of last season.
However, while Rafa Benitez has matched Carlo Ancelotti’s impressive start to the campaign, there is one player who has already smashed his own personal record.
Abdoulaye Doucoure scored two goals, set up three and hit five shots on target in 29 matches during the 2020/21 Premier League season.
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Already, before the end of September, the Frenchman has achieved the same tallies in just six matches.
Hammering home in the second half against the Canaries, Doucoure made sure of the three points, getting his name on the scoresheet after another barnstorming display.
Given licence to roam in the final third and urged by his new manager to get involved in attacks, the 28-year-old has been efficient in the 12-yard box and has already matched his goal contributions for the entirety of the last campaign.
In this form, who would bet against him doubling or even tripling those numbers with eight months of the season still to play?
Micah Richards was full of praise for the Everton man on Match of the Day and lauded his goal, saying: “He has really developed.
“He’s breaking lines, he’s very comfortable. When a midfielder drives like this, it’s very difficult for anyone to get close to him because he’s got that power.
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“He makes runs that are very difficult to pick up, he can zing it 20 yards, 30 yards, he’s got that in his locker.
“Look at him, he runs into that space and drags people out with him, little bit cheeky here – the finish is delightful.”
Doucoure is forming an impressive partnership with Allan in the centre of the park but his effectiveness in front of goal and ability to make rapid runs into the box has added a new dimension to Everton’s play this season.
The midfielder showed he was an all-rounder during four seasons with Watford, able to break up attacks but build and finish off them too.
However, he was restricted during his first year at Goodison Park.
His role was rigid, he was not able to wander and so his attacking capabilities were diluted. Doucoure would give but not go.
Now though, he is pushing forward with a real intensity and drive and being rewarded with goals.
Matching an entire season’s haul in just six matches is some going and testament to Doucoure’s willingness to take his game up a level.