Why Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal are all chasing CSKA Moscow star Seydou Doumbia

Liverpool are the latest Premier League club to be considering a move for CSKA Moscow ace Seydou Doumbia.
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Liverpool are the latest Premier League club to be considering a move for CSKA Moscow ace Seydou Doumbia.

CSKA president Yevgeny Giner has put English clubs on alert after announcing he is prepared to sell the Ivorian when the European transfer market reopens in June.

Doumbia, himself, admits he favours a move to England and has spoken openly about playing for Tottenham or Chelsea.

Now, the latest from Russia is that Liverpool football chief Damien Comolli is weighing up Doumbia as a potential replacement for the controversial Luis Suarez.

Russian football expert Kate Partridge, the sports anchor for RT, says Doumbia's Premier League ambitions are no secret.

"In interviews, Doumbia has said he wants to play in England. He's about to return from the African Cup of Nations with losing finalists, the Ivory Coast, alongside Didier Drogba, Gervinho, Salomon Kalou, and the Toure brothers. He’s usually a substitute for the Elephants, but these English Premier League stars could advise him about, and recommend him to, their clubs – in the same way Doumbia suggested Lacina Traore accept Kuban's offer and move to Russia from Romanian side Cluj," Partridge told tribalfootball.com.

"He is ambitious but humble, speaks French, and has already played in Europe at Swiss side Young Boys, who bought him for around €130,000. Two years later, CSKA bought Doumbia for around 10 million Euros, and pundits think Giner wants to at least double his money."

Partridge believes Doumbia's bustling, all-action style is tailor-made for the Premier League, likening the striker to Newcastle United's new attacking hero Demba Ba.

"I used to consider Doumbia and Love as CSKA’s Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole in terms of their goal tallies and almost synchronised playing partnership. Individually, in terms of build, I think Doumbia resembles Obafemi Martins, while his playing style has been compared with Carlos Tevez – his 5’ 10” but powerful stance earning him the nickname 'Rhinoceros' – while his pacy runs from deep have led to comparisons with Demba Ba - and even a smaller version of Italian legend, Christian Vieri – powerful and determined."

Partridge has no doubts Doumbia would succeed in the Premier League, though questions whether he is ready to move immediately to a top four club.

"He is good enough to play in England, but perhaps not the top four yet. Despite being the leading scorer in Russia and his brace against Lille, he's unproved over time. He has been at CSKA for less than two seasons, and only after playing in Switzerland and Japan, while his only honour of note is the Russian Cup.

"It would be a big gamble for a top-four club to take him. The opportunity of playing Champions League football at CSKA not only might encourage him to stay there, it would also boost the pedigree of his playing experience."

But the lure of the Premier League will be difficult to resist for Doumbia - and it's no secret he's been watched extensively by England's biggest clubs over the last year.

Partridge can see Doumbia fitting in well at Arsenal or Chelsea.

"Arsenal might initially balk at his price tag but Doumbia’s French and Ivorian connections, as well as the need to offer support to Robin van Persie, might tempt their hand," Partridge says.

"Similarly, Chelsea. Doumbia mentioned in an interview that he's a Blues fan. And, though the Blues have already brought in the 'new Drogba' – 18-year-old prodigy, Romelu Lukaku – he is still raw, while Drogba himself is ageing, Fernando Torres has flopped, and the pressure is mounting on manager Andre Villas-Boas."

But then there's Tottenham, whose chief scout Ian Broomfield has made trips to Moscow to check on the Ivorian.

"Tottenham also might be an option next season. With Harry Redknapp heavily tipped to take the England job, a new manager could come in, while striker Emmanuel Adebayor is only on loan."

If he does make the move to England, Partridge is convinced Doumbia's attitude and determination will give him every chance of succeeding - wherever he may end up.


Comparing Doumbia with West Bromwich Albion favourite Peter Odemwingie, Partridge says: "His record is better than that of Peter Odemwingie, whom Lokomotiv Moscow brought in as a big star. Being born in the Soviet Union and knowing Russian, Odemwingie had no problems in adapting, but he failed to produce any consistency.

"Meanwhile, as a foreigner and therefore more expensive, Doumbia had to prove he was worth his price tag and he did so. Arguably, he is less talented than Odemwingie – who showed a glimpse of his form on Sunday by grabbing a hat-trick for West Brom in their 5-1 demolition of Wolves at Molineux – but Doumbia is a hard worker, so pundits are tipping him for great things."

 
West Brom mad, Kate Partridge is the sports anchor at Russia's RT and writes a weekly blog on the Premier League for rt.com. Click here for more. Also follow Kate: @KatePartridgeRT.

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