By Jack Cunningham

13th Oct, 2021 | 7:10pm

Everton star Abdoulaye Doucoure aims veiled dig at Carlo Ancelotti

Everton star Abdoulaye Doucoure claims that he was “sacrificed” under Carlo Ancelotti last season.

Speaking to the club’s official website, the 28-year-old appeared to aim a veiled dig at the Italian and seems to suggest that Ancelotti was deliberately holding him back.

He has been reborn under Rafael Benitez and has scored twice and provided four assists in the first seven league games of the season.

He said: “I was a little bit sacrificed in that system – but I showed a couple of times I could score.

“So, yes, it was a bit frustrating last season.

“I wanted to show I could score goals.

“The midfielders have to score five or six a season, and I couldn’t do it.

“But I sacrificed myself for the team. I made a lot of recoveries and defended well in midfield. It was like that.

“Sometimes, you have to just listen to the manager and play how he wants.”

Doucoure clearly didn’t enjoy life under Ancelotti.

If we compare Doucoure from last season to this season, we can see that he is a different animal.

In 29 league appearances in the 2020/21 season, the Frenchman scored two goals and provided three assists.

So, he has already matched his goal tally and nearly doubled his assist tally, while his average WhoScored rating is 7.35 and last season, it was only 6.78.

So, there are clear and obvious improvements from Doucoure, who looks like one of the best midfielders in the league at the moment.

It is incredible the transformation that Doucoure has undergone, and it is interesting to hear that he was held back deliberately by Ancelotti last season.

Surely the Toffees might have had a better season if Doucoure had been unleashed?

Unfortunately, we will probably never know, but it is great to see Doucoure thriving under Benitez this season.

We can’t wait to see how good he could become under the Spaniard’s guidance as the season progresses.

In other Everton news, our Super Fans have reacted to the latest transfer rumour ahead of the January window.

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