Even though CSKA Moscow have opened talks regarding a new deal with Seydou Doumbia, a January move for the impressive Ivory Coast international is not yet off the table.
The highly-rated striker has been in terrific form in Russia for some time, and looks, at 26, to be at the correct stage of his career to make the ‘big move, which has alerted Liverpool. The Reds’ forward issues have been well documented in recent times, so getting Doumbia in now would make some sense, right?
We at FFC Towers think so, and here’s why…
Okay, Doumbia may have only played in Switzerland and Russia since his move to European football, but with a goal record of around two in three at Young Boys and CSKA he has certainly showed that he has what it takes when it comes to putting the ball in the back of the net
His performances in both ‘legs’ against Manchester City in the Champions League this season really showed that he can do it on the biggest stage, so it cannot be a coincidence that interest in his signature has increased on the back of his destruction of Manuel Pellegrini’s Sky Blues.
Raw speed and physicality are two key traits for top class strikers. Too slow and you’ll struggle to work the space needed, too weak and you’ll find it difficult to escape bullying centre-backs. Doumbia may not be the finest technical player around, but his pace and power make him a real handful for defenders – as was, again, on display against Man City.
Such a playing style could work well with Daniel Sturridge, whose movement opens up space for his striker partner.
It may be a bit early, but Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli look like write offs. The Merseyside-born ace is more of a competition winner than a Reds player, while ‘Super Mario’ has certainly not lived up to his nickname. It would be no surprise to see one, or both, out of the door at Anfield by this time next year, so drafting in a newbie makes sense.
Doumbia has a better work rate than Balotelli and is more mobile than Lambert, making him a much, much better option to support Sturridge.
CSKA have opened contract talks with their man recently, but should their aim to tie him down end in disappointment, bids of around £15m may be enough to lure the 26-year-old away from Moscow. In the modern transfer market such a fee is minimal, making him a genuine alternative to more pricey options such as Gonzalo Higuain – who is likely to move for upwards of £30m if he is sold by Napoli.
Liverpool are not the only English side in the hunt for the Ivorian, with Chelsea, Spurs an Arsenal also monitoring his situation. Should the Reds opt against a deal, it’s possible that the CSKA man could show up another club in the Premier League, which will come as a body blow to Brendan Rodgers – who has lost out on numerous targets to divisional rivals in recent years.
It may not be a wise transfer policy on the whole, but snapping up Doumbia to prevent him turning out for a direct competitor could be sensible this time.