What to expect from Seydou Doumbia at Girona
Girona FC and manager Eusebio Sacristán want to improve upon last season’s positivity, finishing tenth in the table during their first-ever LaLiga campaign. Their attack was productive enough, scoring 50 goals through 38 games. But Sacristán needs more, and that has led to a move for Seydou Doumbia.
The Ivorian international signed with the Catalan side last month and has yet to make his team debut. Doumbia arrives on a three-year deal, looking for an element of stability at this point in his career. The striker joined AS Roma in 2015 and was sent out on-loan four consecutive times following 13 Serie A appearances.
With sharp movements, superb pace and a skillful touch on the ball, Doumbia is a forward who can create opportunities all on his own when needed. His recent travels throughout Europe have had mixed results, and now he is set to begin his journey in a new league yet again.
Roma brought him on in January of 2015, and two goals certainly displayed some potential. However, it just wasn’t enough, and he was sent out on-loan the following summer, returning to former club CSKA Moscow where his skills shined brightest. A run of 84 goals in 129 matches in Russia from 2010 to 2015 was the massive production that initially prompted the Roma deal.
His most disastrous loan spell came in 2016, signing with Newcastle United as Rafa Benitez attempted to avoid relegation from the Premier League. Never looking like a striker who could make the difference, Doumbia failed to score in three appearances, and the Magpies were headed to the Championship.
Although, this seemed to be an outlier during the 2016-17 campaign, as a successful stint with FC Basel saw a significant return to form. Doumbia’s 21 goals across all competitions helped his squad to a league and cup double in Switzerland.
Sporting CP were hoping that could be replicated when he was added the last term, but manager Jorge Jesus was unable to get the best out of Doumbia. The 30-year-old failed to score a goal in ten Primeira Liga fixtures.
This surreal adventure of constantly changing environments brings him to Girona, and it will be interesting to see if he can once again be a force in the final third for a team. Doumbia will again be adjusting to a different setting, this time facing LaLiga defenses for the first time.
When fully fit and confident in his abilities, he can be a potent striker. What he will find is an opportunity with Los Blanquivermell, as a 4-3-3 formation will offer him chances to contribute. Sacristán has utilized the likes of Borja García, Cristhian Stuani, Anthony Lozano and Portu on the front-line, with only one goal scored through three games thus far.
Either as a center-forward or out wide, Doumbia can have an impact. The key will be how quickly he can develop strong chemistry with his new team-mates, as that will likely influence his first-year scoring numbers tremendously.
Girona aim for another top-half finish in 2018-19. Seydou Doumbia has seen some ups and downs over the years, but the club will be hoping that they see flashes of brilliance from him shortly.