Abdoulaye Doucoure finds himself as an integral part of the team at Watford, but it wasn’t always like that.

After returning from a loan spell at Granada last summer, Doucoure didn’t feature prominently in Walter Mazzarri’s first-team plans at Watford and the plan was for the midfielder to spend more time away on loan.

The Frenchman was set to return to Ligue 1 to join Lorient on loan but the move fell through late in the window and he was forced to stay at Vicarage Road. Speaking to 20 Minutes in France, Doucoure explains how that’s enabled him to break into the side.

As early as preseason, I saw that I didn’t enter in Mazzarri’s plans, so I straight away wanted to go in order to get game time. Lorient made an offer in the last few minutes, but in the end, it didn’t happen.

I wasn’t all that disappointed. The perspective was interesting, but I stayed at Watford, I played in the second half of the season, and this year I’m playing. I imposed myself, and I’m happy to be here.

Doucoure had to bide his time last season, making just one substitute appearance for the Hornets before January but at the turn of the year he was introduced into the starting eleven and featured in all but one of the final 20 Premier League games.

Now with Marco Silva in charge, Doucoure has started all three of the team’s league games so far and projects to be a regular in the side going forward. Ahead of the weekend’s games, find the latest odds and betting offers here.