The loan signing of Seydou Doumbia has been the strangest loan deal by Newcastle United…since the last one.

Whilst Facundo Ferreyra managed no minutes at all on the pitch for Newcastle in a whole season, Seydou Doumbia has managed 29 minutes so far in over two months at St James Park.

Despite United being desperate for goals, due to some unknown reason the AS Roma striker has been limited to three brief substitute appearances. The last of those was against Leicester when Rafa Benitez gave him the final three minutes in place of Jonjo Shelvey, though he then dropped the striker totally from the squad against Sunderland.

Obviously fitness wasn’t the reason for Doumbia being left out by Rafa, as the striker joined up with Ivory Coast for a double header against Sudan in qualification for the African Cup of Nations.

The on-loan Newcastle forward was an unused substitute on Friday as Ivory Coast beat Sudan 1-0 at home.

Ivory Coast then went to Sudan and drew 1-1 on Tuesday but it has been revealed that Seydou Doumbia walked out on the squad and didn’t travel.

The Newcastle striker has questioned the authority of Head Coach Michel Dussuyer and claimed that PSG star Serge Aurier has far too much power and is influencing team selection.

As to the whereabouts of Seydou Doumbia since walking out on his international team-mates…that is anybody’s guess, as to whether he is now back on Tyneside or wherever.

However, it does appear that Newcastle United have got a ‘character’ on their hands and it will be interesting to see if Doumbia is named in the squad for Norwich on Saturday.

Newspaper reports from Italy recently reported/claimed that Newcastle would be obliged to pay AS Roma over £17m for Doumbia if he featured in 10 games for United, leading to suggestions that the club may not have been playing him because they didn’t want to trigger that clause.

Very topical in light of the Jonas Gutierrez disability discrimination tribunal.