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Fantasy Premier League Scouting Report: Newcastle forward Seydou Doumbia

Newcastle fans love a forward more than most. Could their new loan signing break into the 1st team and capture our fantasy hearts in doing so?

Doumbia has faced Premier League competition previously. Will he fit right in?
Doumbia has faced Premier League competition previously. Will he fit right in?
Epsilon/Getty Images

Here is a surprise for you, Newcastle were Europe's biggest spenders in the January transfer window. The Magpies clearly felt investing in the window gave them the best chance of pulling themselves out of the relegation battle.

In addition to such names with proven experience as Jonjo Shelvey and Andros Townsend, Newcastle picked up Ivory Coast international star Seydou Doumbia on loan from AS Roma.

Where does he fit in?

They say goals keep you up. Newcastle already have the talented young player Alexander Mitrovic who has started in 16 league games scoring 5 goals from his 20 SOT in his debut season. Doumbia offers genuine competition for the forward role in Steve McClaren's side or he can offer an option for them to play two up front.

Will he play?

Doumbia now has obtained his visa but he hasn't played since December meaning he cannot be dropped straight into the 1st team. The forward will need game time before McClaren is likely to look at starting in matches and a run out for the reserves on Monday 8th Feb will help.  It seems very unlikely that we will see him in contention to start at Chelsea but any impact from the bench could change our thoughts moving forward.

What could he do on the pitch?

At 28 years of age Doumbia should be in his prime as a forward. He made his name at CSKA Moscow where he scored 61 goals in 95 games between 2011-2015. His move to Roma saw 2 goals in 13 games before being loaned back to Moscow (5 goals in 15) and then onto Newcastle.

His inability to breakthrough at Roma isn't a surprise. The Italian league forever remains a defence orientated league. To be successful often requires steep learning curve and necessity to adjust tactically.

In the Premier League tactics are less a factor and he should enjoy much more space in a league where defending is currently a weakness in most sides. The biggest issue with any new player coming to England - Particularly in the January window is the culture change. The Italian league may be a steep learning curve for the mind but the EPL tends to be brutal on the body as well. Combining the pace are played with the constant wind takes time.

My initial thought is the player will be one of those short term options for the club.  Adding depth to the attacking choices and covering injury or suspension.

What about the fantasy implications?

You all know I love an alternative pick and being English as the phrase goes I'm also "as tight as a duck's ass". In Fantrax he is a tasty 1m pickup. With upcoming double weeks a filler is often needed.  Maybe he can be that man.

In the other formats we play his appeal will be limited unless he makes an incredible immediate impact. Something like Papiss Cisse did in the same colours would get us all interested I'm sure.

- Stall