When Seydou Doumbia was unveiled on Monday as Newcastle United’s latest signing, it sounded like he was ready for action.
The loan signing (for details of his loan fee & permanent transfer fee go here) interviewed after signing on at Newcastle and saying he was ‘ready to go’.
“I feel delighted to be here. I have already started to prepare…I have arrived and I’m ready to go.”
With still no news of any visa in place it looks as though that would rule him out anyway tonight but on top of that, Steve McClaren sounded a little more cautious than than Seydou Doumbia when speaking about when we are likely to see the striker in the team.
“He has not played in the Premier League and it might take a while to adapt and he has not trained for a couple of weeks, but he just adds to the squad.”
The signings of Andros Townsend and Jonjo Shelvey should automatically improve the team, but most fans felt a new striker was the biggest priority to add to the squad/team, and already four Premier League matches (4 points from 12) and an FA Cup knockout had gone by before the deadline day signing of Seydou Doumbia.
The Russian League shuts down for three months halfway through the season due to the extreme weather conditions and it is that which freed up Doumbia’s availability.
His last league football was in a 2-0 defeat at Amkar Perm (3 December 2015) and then CSKA Moscow’s very final match before going into hibernation was a 2-1 defeat to PSV in the Champions League on 8 December 2015.
So it is already over eight weeks since Seydou Doumbia has played any football and from Steve McClaren’s comments, it doesn’t sound as though the player has even been training with AS Roma.
This Saturday against West Brom will surely be far too early for the forward to start a match or even potentially be amongst the substitutes…though I bet he is.
The following Saturday sees Newcastle travel to Chelsea which maybe could be a possibility but my money would be on the following game, Newcastle having an 18 day gap before they travel to Stoke on Wednesday 2 March.
At that point there will be 12 matches left – I just hope Newcastle haven’t left it too little too late when it comes to adding much needed goals to this team.
Whilst of course we all hope that Seydou Doumbia will do the business, it is hard not to think that somebody like Loic Remy who knows the Premier League so well, wouldn’t have been a more nailed on option to give Newcastle the survival boosting goals.