The 27-year-old has recollected the impact of the former France international on the Gunners during his playing years
Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure is looking to emulate his role model, Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira.
The 43-year-old Vieira spent nine years at Arsenal and helped them win a number of laurels before his departure in 2005.
Doucoure recounted the influence of Vieira in France‘s national team as well as the Gunners and hopes to follow in his footsteps.
“He’s my favourite ever midfielder. I looked up to him because while I was growing up, I watched him playing for the national team [of France] and Arsenal and he was a great example for me to follow,” he told the Watford Observer.
“I enjoyed watching his skills and trying to repeat them. He could do everything; he was the perfect midfielder. I think now a lot of midfielders can get forward and score goals but also defend well, but back then it wasn’t like that and he was one of the first.
“That’s why he’s so important and one of the best. As a player, I want to have the presence and influence on games like he had. I want to become one of the best midfielders, and there is nobody better than him to follow.”
Doucoure also spoke highly of his teammate Etienne Capoue, who he has forged a good partnership with at Watford.
“At the beginning of my time at Watford it was more of a competition between the two of us because I wanted to get a place in the team, but we’ve been playing together for two or three years now and we spend a lot of time together too.
“We have different qualities because we are different midfielders – he can do some things I can’t, and I can do the same for him – and we learn all the time from each other. He has a lot of experience playing in England as well as back in France, so it’s impossible not to learn from him.
“It’s nice we also have players like Nathaniel [Chalobah] and Will [Hughes] coming in and playing well and we have a good relationship between all the midfielders, which is good for competition.”
Doucoure has 25 Premier League appearances for the Hornets this season, scoring four goals and providing four assists.
The midfielder will hope to feature when Watford take on Manchester United in Sunday’s Premier League game.