Newcastle United today confirmed the loan signing of Ivory Coast International striker Seydou Doumbia from Roma unitl the end of the season.
Born on 31st December 1987 (making him 28), well, that’s what his official birth certificate says, the player looks like he’s had a few too many hard paper rounds. Judge for yourself (picture right).
The player has an interesting playing past. He started his senior career with Kashiwa Reysol in Japan, although was a product of the Inter FC youth system having loan spells with AS Athletic Adjame, Toumodi FC and AS Denguele (all of the Ivory Coast) as a junior becoming the leagues highest scorer with 15 goals. HIs move to Japan signalled his first step up to a more recognised footballing federation and there he played for Kashiwa Reysol (scoring 3 goals in 24 games over 2 seasons) and then Tokushima Vortis (scoring 7 in 16 games).
Then came his first big move to Young Boys of Switzerland scoring 20 goals in his first season and going on to bag 50 in 64 games in an impressive spell. His goal record would eventually persuade CSKA Moscow to come calling for the player and in January 2010 he signed a contract with the Russian giants allowing him to stay with Young Boys for the remainder of the season.
His reported €15m transfer on a 5 1/2 year contract. He would go on to play 95 games for Moscow in this first spell, scoring 61 times in all competitions before he was on the move again, this time in a €16m deal to Roma in January 2015.
Doumbia would not enjoy his move to AS Roma however scoring only twice for them in 13 games. A spell that was so uninspiring for Roma that after only half a season he was loaned back to CSKA once more.
Now, back at Roma, it seems the Italian giants had immediate plans to move him on again, this time to Newcastle United.
His 6 month loan deal with NUFC may well prove an interesting spell. Can he recapture the form and goals of his time in Russia or Switzerland, or is he just not suited to a higher standard of league as his limited time in Italy would indicate.
Newcastle fans will certainly be hoping for the former as we continue our desperate search for a goal machine.
VERDICT: This would seem a huge gamble by NUFC who surely had a chance to bring in a more established and proven top flight goal scorer. Only time will tell if this is a masterstroke or a disaster. It seems certain to be one or the other.