The case of Seydou Doumbia is just yet another strange unexplained example of a very strange season overall for Newcastle United.
With Newcastle desperate for goals to try and survive in the Premier League, only three days before the January transfer deadline Doumbia was approached by Newcastle to go on loan, with a contract trigger that would make the move permanent if he played a certain number of games.
After substitute appearances against Chelsea (13 Feb), Stoke (2 March) and Leicester (14 March), Seydou Doumbia has been totally left out of the 18 man matchday squad for the games against Sunderland, Norwich and Southampton.
Very strange considering the team are so desperate for goals and so few likely goalscorers on the pitch.
Seydou Doumbia went off on international duty after the Sunderland match on 20 March and so you can only assume he isn’t injured.
Whilst away on that international duty, Doumbia was on the bench for the first game but then walked out on the squad claiming certain players had undue influence on the team selection by the Ivory Coast head coach.
Also whilst on international duty, Seydou Doumbia gave this interview to Africa Top Sports when in the Ivory Coast.
Whilst he admits it has been hard to adapt to the Premier League when arriving in the winter break, the whole situation and some of his quotes are very strange…
Seydou Doumbia speaking to Africa Top Sports:
How is your integration at Newcastle?
There has been a little over a month I have been at Newcastle. It goes well with everyone. I fit in great. The most important is to come, that is to say to now play.
Exactly, is not it frustrating for you to play only a few pieces in matches so far?
It is not easy for a player to stay on the bench. But then, I found a team in place. Now it is up to me to take my responsibilities and start playing. I think it will come these days, even if there are not many matches left.
As Newcastle struggle in the Premiership, what is personally the challenge that motivates you in this adventure?
Currently it is very difficult for the club. Since I arrived, we only lose matches. However, there is a glimmer of hope in that three teams are virtually in the same position. It was, therefore, a chance to keep us in the Premier League. Then we will see later. For now, I belong to Newcastle for two more months.
We imagine that you caress the secret hope to score your first goal in the top League …
Well, like any good striker, it’s always a dream to score in a new championship, let alone in the Premier League. This is something special. I used to say that my dream has always been to play in this championship. Today, I am faced with the reality. I will make every effort to make the most of this little time.
Actually, arrival at Newcastle has surprised everyone. Tell us why this option?
Three days before the end of the transfer window when the proposal came from Newcastle on a loan of five months (with permanent move clause). I found it interesting because the club is a regular in the Premier League. For now, it is going pretty well. I’m not complaining. But it is clear that I did not think about (the problems of) arriving in the English championship in these conditions. It’s never easy for a player in the winter transfer window.
After arriving in the Premier League, has your perception of this championship changed or not?
Not at all. It’s always the same thing. The Premier League is a great league. There, I can position myself physically. Certainly, it was a bit difficult given the conditions in which I had arrived. By the grace of God, I intend to continue my adventure.
Even if Newcastle fall into Second Division?
(Laughs). On that I cannot say. I would like to continue in the English Championship (Premier League). Anyway, this is a loan that runs until late May.
Does this mean that you completely close the door to a possible return to the Roma?
I have no wish to head to Roma. Although I still belong to the club. My wish is to go to a club where I feel better for the rest of my career.
Why did you not stay (on loan) at CSKA, you were successful there?
Roma simply refused to let me continue with CSKA. I was just ready for a renewed six months (contract). They (Roma) changed their minds. Therefore two choices open to me: either I stayed four months without playing the Roma, or I agreed to go to another championship. So I took the option of the loan to Newcastle and then see how things go.
You know, it was very difficult to spend six months at Roma without actually playing (moved for 15m euros in Jan 2015 and only started 6 Serie A matches). Luckily, I took advantage of a loan at CSKA to recharge my batteries. I have shown that I am not finished. I just needed playing time to allow me to express myself. This is to say that I can still perform in any championship. Provided I have enough game time and I adapt to the championship. The future will tell. For a player it is always frustrating to stay on the bench. By playing 90 minutes, you find the same confidence and you get to express the fullness of your abilities. I hope to know again those beautiful moments in my career.
Teammates of the national team and you went to Grand Bassam (gunmen opened fire killing at least 16 people including tourists), the scene of the terrorist attack of 13 March. How much was it important for you to do this act?
This was important, especially morally. We were in Europe at the time. All the time, we called our brothers, our relatives, to see if they were okay. We were morally affected. Once in Abidjan, it was important for us to go to the scene. This is something that will remain engraved in the memories of people. I say “yako” (Courage) to all parents of the victims. We stay together, we are a family.