Newcastle United completed their January spending spree with the addition of AS Roma striker Seydou Doumbia on Deadline Day. The 28-year-old Ivorian has joined Newcastle for the remainder of the season on loan, with an option for Newcastle to make the deal permanent at the end of the season.
Doumbia spent the first half of the season on loan at his old club, CSKA Moscow. He was the top scorer for the club with 11 goals, including six in this season’s Champions League. He formed a lethal partnership with Nigerian forward Ahmed Musa, and the two troubled Russian defenses.
It’s no surprise that Newcastle have went and splashed a lot of money on players during this transfer window. The team has been poor throughout and entered the relegation zone after Wednesday’s 3-0 loss to Everton.
This season has not been ideal for a club of the stature of Newcastle. Of course, there have been bright spots, such as summer signee Giorginio Wijnaldum; the Dutchman is the club’s top scorer this season with nine goals. However. the consistency is not there for the team. They have beaten Liverpool and drawn with usual powerhouses Chelsea and Manchester United. However, they have also lost 6-1 and 5-1 to Manchester City and Crystal Palace respectively. Fan morale is down, and manager Steve McClaren is in a battle for his job.
Newcastle began their January additions by bringing in the established Bordeaux (and Senegal) midfielder Henri Saivet early in the transfer window. Soon after, the club whisked away midfielder Jonjo Shelvey from relegation rivals Swansea City in a shocking £12 million deal. More business occurred when Andros Townsend, Tottenham Hotspur’s young talent from a couple seasons back, joined for £12 million. With the addition of Doumbia on loan, Newcastle’s intentions are clear. Staying in the Premier League is their ultimate goal, and the club will go to incredible lengths to do so.
Summer signee Aleksandar Mitrovic has shown flashes of his ability, but he has only scored four league goals. He is Newcastle’s striker of the future. Papiss Cisse has only scored twice in the league this season. The signing of Doumbia makes sense, however the pressure will be on him to score, and score early. His pace was what made him a threat at BSC Young Boys and CSKA Moscow early in his career, and it will surely cause Premier League defenses trouble. Doumbia’s linkup play with players like Wijnaldum and Ayoze Perez will be key. The early matches and training sessions will be crucial for helping him build chemistry and integrate himself into the team.