Seydou Doumbia has given a new insight into the failed transfer strategy at Newcastle United under Mike Ashley & Graham Carr, which directly led to relegation in May.
With Newcastle heading for the Championship and desperately short of goals, Seydou Doumbia was brought in during the final hours of the winter transfer window.
Fans had been left bemused that with United both leaking too many and not scoring enough goals, Newcastle had bought three players in the middle of the pitch, rather than investing in strikers and/or defenders.
Doumbia was bought by AS Roma at the end of January 2015 whilst the striker was competing in the African Cup of Nations finals with Ivory Coast.
The Serie A club spending a sizeable £12m on the striker only a week before he then helped his country win the final after an epic penalty shoot-out against Ghana. The match goalless even after extra time, the two sides ended up taking 11 penalties each with Ivory Coast winning 9-8 in the end, Seydou Doumbia scoring the fourth penalty taken by his team.
A week later Doumbia made his Serie A debut for AS Roma in a goalless home draw with Parma and then it becomes obvious that the Italian club realised they had made a massive blunder, only giving their expensive new purchase a single league start in the next 10 weeks.
After only six Serie A starts in total, AS Roma were then desperate to offload the player but nobody would buy him, leading to in desperation the forward being loaned back to the club who they had just paid a relative fortune to, CSKA Moscow.
With no chance of them being able to afford the wages and a decent transfer fee, Seydou Doumbia has now revealed that he refused to move to China after Super League clubs indicated they would allow AS Roma to recoup much of the money they looked to have wasted.
After his refusal, Seydou Doumbia says that they punished him by making him train three times a day, the striker then allowed to go back to Moscow last summer on loan.
Still trying to get the striker off their hands after he returned in December 2015 as the Russian league closed down for winter, AS Roma were then happy when Newcastle appeared from nowhere in the final days of this last winter transfer window.
However, the Newcastle loan proved a disaster with the striker clearly not impressing either Steve McClaren or Rafa Benitez.
The forward who Mike Ashley and Graham Carr had supplied to save Newcastle from relegation, only given 29 minutes.
Now Seydou Doumbia has made clear himself why other clubs were giving him a very wide berth, despite his excellent goalscoring record in the lower levels of Swiss and Russian football.
Doumbia admitting that after he won the African Cup of Nations on 8 February 2015, he ‘forgot to be a professional footballer’.
AS Roma have now had to accept once again that they couldn’t find a club to buy him this summer, allowing the striker to go out on his third loan, this time to FC Basel.
That Newcastle United spent almost £30m on midfielders in January, yet didn’t see any urgency or great need to bring in a credible/reliable goalscorer, tells you everything about the Ashley/Carr transfer strategy and why Newcastle somehow managed to get themselves relegated last season despite spending some £80m in six months.
Relying on a striker in Seydou Doumbia with such a bad reputation and the fact Rafa Benitez didn’t even think he was worth a place on the bench sums it up.
“When I won the African Nations Cup I celebrated so much that I forgot to be a professional footballer.
“I moved to Italy but I did not fit in, Roma wanted to move me on to China but I did not want to go.
“After I said no, the club made me train three times a day, at 08:00, 12:00 and 16:00.
“I think it was some kind of punishment and it was hell – but now I am at Basel I am a lot happier.”