With Newcastle desperate for goals to try and avoid relegation, the only striker signed in the winter transfer window was Seydou Doumbia.
Despite only playing three minute of football for Rafa Benitez, Doumbia doesn’t blame the Spanish manager, accepting that he did not feature in the new United boss’ plans.
The Ivory Coast striker saying that Benitez ‘makes the choices that he feels are right’.
What was more puzzling maybe, was that the manager who did bring in the striker, didn’t play Doumbia either.
On 13 February, Steve McClaren gave Doumbia the last 20 minutes at Stamford Bridge with United already four goals down.
Understandably looking rusty after not playing for over two months, Doumbia was then given only the last six minutes at Stoke two and a half weeks later.
The striker looked a lot sharper and almost turned an average Shelvey cross into an equaliser, when his excellent first time strike was only denied by an equally brilliant save by Butland.
Despite this, three days later Emmanuel Riviere (who was terrible when given the last 16 minutes against Stoke) was given a start against Bournemouth and was absolutely terrible. Newcastle going down 3-1 and McClaren losing his job, Seydou Doumbia never even getting off the bench.
Seydou Doumbia nevertheless still insists that coming to Newcastle ‘was not a mistake’ and describes it as ‘an interesting experience – though not positive’.
Earlier today, Steve McClaren claimed that he was undone by not being able to buy players aged over 24 and subsequently that contributed to not buying the quality centre-backs and strikers he now says he was short of.
Whether Seydou Doumbia could have contributed something in that relegation run-in is something we will now never know.
Seydou Doumbia talking to La Roma 24:
“The move to England was not a mistake.
“It was still an interesting experience – though not positive.
“It didn’t go exactly the way that I wanted, but in football, as in life generally, every experience is useful.
“I was not in bad condition but apparently I did not feature in Rafa Benitez’ plans.
“I can’t blame him as he makes the choices that he feels are right.”