Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has signed an eight year contract and is said to be looking to bring Doumbia in, either as a replacement for the unhappy Djemba Ba or as the third prong in his Ivory Coast born attack...
The explosive 24-year-old Cote d’Ivoire striker Seydou Doumbia is a rumoured transfer target for Newcastle. After learning his trade and excelling in Japan, Switzerland and Russia, Doumbia is certainly ready to attack one of Europe’s strongest leagues and could prove an astute purchase.
Doumbia has all of the attributes you could wish for in a certain type of striker. He is quick and energetic, has sound ball control and is a great dribbler who uses his range of tricks to cause maximum damage to the opposition. Although he is not physically imposing in the manner of his countryman, Didier Drogba, Doumbia is no lightweight and has excellent balance. Most importantly of all, as his scoring record indicates, he is an emphatic finisher with both feet.
In his first season in Switzerland (2008/09) with Young Boys Bern, Doumbia acquired a reputation as a “super-sub”, scoring five goals in his first five games for the club, despite never spending more than 25 minutes on the field on any of those occasions. He went on to notch a total of 20 goals that season, finishing as the league’s joint top scorer, even though he only appeared in the starting line-up 5 times. It may be that “impact substitute” is the role Spurs, or any other potential buyers, envisage for Doumbia. He is certainly well-suited to the task but tagging him with it would be underselling him considerably. When he got more playing time and became first choice for Young Boys, he simply went on to score more goals, hitting 30 in his second season in Bern to become the runaway winner of the Swiss top scorer and player of the season awards. His scoring ratio has continued at much the same rate since his July 2010 move to CSKA Moscow in Russia and has included goals in European competitions, as well as at domestic level.
Money and success can always change people, of course, but it is hard to imagine Doumbia turning stroppy or high maintenance.
Apart from his goals, Doumbia’s exciting style and enthusiasm have made him a fans’ favourite wherever he has played. Both on and off the pitch, he comes across as a cheerful, uncomplicated character who clearly enjoys his football. Money and success can always change people, of course, but it is hard to imagine Doumbia turning stroppy or high maintenance. Having left Africa to go to Japan as a teenager, and succeeded in hitting the ground running in the very different environments of Switzerland and Russia, he is also unlikely to require much of a settling in period in England.
The greatest challenge for Doumbia in England would be that the faster pace of the game compared with the countries in which he has played might render his speed a less significant asset. But he is player who has consistently proven adaptable to different circumstances and requirements. This, coupled with his skills, temperament and finishing ability make him a good bet to be a valuable acquisition.
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