Hey guys, this is the big one. Seydou Doumbia, long linked with a move away from Russia, is arguably the best player in the Russian Premier League and one of the best strikers in the world on his day. Despite reported interest from Arsenal and Newcastle, Daniel Levy should do his absolute best to secure Doumbia, no matter the fee. Plus, who doesn't want to have a guy with "doo doo" in his name?
Name: Seydou Alan Doumbia
Team: CSKA Moscow
League: SOGAZ Football Championship (Russia)
Primary position: Striker
Can also play: Wide attacking midfielder
Doumbia has, on occasion, played out wide to accommodate Tomas Necid as a lone striker and has shown ability in cutting in from the flanks and torturing defenders with his exquisite footwork, but it should not be seen as a permanent position for the Ivorian. His hold-up play is far too good for him to remain on the wing and he should be seen as the side's primary attacking outlet.
Doumbia arrived in Moscow from BSC Young Boys in the 2010 summer transfer window and made an immediate impact in his first season, scoring 12 goals in 15 games in all competitions. It was not until the next season, however, that he came into his own as the best striker in Russia. Scoring 37 goals in 53 games (28 in 42 in the league) and a further 11 assists. So far this season, Doumbia has been restricted to only 3 appearances due to injury, scoring only 1 goal, however he has begun light training and is slated to make his return against Krylia Sovetov Samara when the Russian winter break ends in March.
When fit and on form, Doumbia is the perfect blend of pace, power and technical ability. Although of average stature (5'10"), Doumbia has sufficient if not overly spectacular heading ability, scoring 5 of his 28 league goals with his head. Where Doumbia really shows his talent is when he takes on defenders on the break. His pace and footwork are almost unmatched in European football and he has the ever-useful ability of being able to score shots from almost any angle or range. His hold-up and link-up play is very underrated, but spectacular nonetheless, as his 11 league assists attest to.
The most unbelievable thing is that his 28 goal season isn't even the best league tally of his career. His final season in Switzerland saw him score 2 more goals in 10 less games. If he comes to Spurs, don't be surprised if he puts up more than 20 goals in his debut season and improves year after year. Doumbia is an unbelievably talented individual who can best any defender in the world on his day and could almost certainly do it on a cold, rainy Tuesday night in Stoke.
Likely price: £20 million
Probability that valuation is wrong: High. Presently, CSKA might be partial to a bid in the £16-18 million range due to his injury status (he was in fact linked with Arsenal and Newcastle for £16 million early this season), but if he returns to form and fitness over the second half of the Russian season, that price could skyrocket, potentially reaching £25-30 million.
Team's willingness to sell: With CSKA leading the Russian Premier League without the services of Doumbia, they seem to be more open to bids. This window for Doumbia's availability will probably end when the league returns from its winter holiday in March, meaning a summer transfer is increasingly unlikely.
Fit at Tottenham Hotspur: Perfect. Spurs could use a world-class striker right now and Doumbia is just that. While his link-up play would be useful for Tottenham, his main job would be to score copious amounts of goals, which he currently does like nobody's business in a very physical league.
Possibility he ends up at Spurs: Low. Providing CSKA are willing to accept an offer that Daniel Levy would actually consider making, there are probably clubs who are willing to offer better wages. However, if the list of suitors remains at just Arsenal and Newcastle, a transfer to Spurs could be on the cards, especially given that his wage demands (reported to be £60,000-70,000 pounds per week) are just within Tottenham's budget.
Grade if this transfer goes through at likely price: A+++