Having become an integral part of Watford’s midfield, Abdoulaye Doucoure looks back on a failed loan move to Lorient as a blessing in disguise.

The athletic midfielder, who arrived at Vicarage Road from Rennes in February 2016, looked set to return to France in the summer of 2016 and spent much of last term on the periphery of Watford’s squad.

However, a fine second half of the season saw Doucoure establish himself under Walter Mazzarri and he has continued his fine form with Marco Silva this term.

He is now one of the first names on the Watford team sheet and can reflect on the failed loan to Lorient favourably.

“As soon as we started pre-season, I saw that I was not in the plans of Walter Mazzarri, so I immediately wanted to leave in order to get playing time,” he told French newspaper 20 Minutes.

“Lorient made an offer in the last minutes, but in the end it didn’t happen.

“The perspective was interesting, but I stayed at Watford, I played in the second half of the season, and this year I’m paying. I imposed myself and I am happy to be here.”