Steve McClaren’s verdict on Newcastle new boy Seydou Doumbia’s readiness to play

Seydou Doumbia
Seydou Doumbia

Steve McClaren says he won’t be afraid to pitch new boy Seydou Doumbia in against Chelsea – despite his lack of fitness.

The striker made his first appearance for the club this week.

You can see what he’s got – he’s a finisher. I’m looking forward to the time he steps on and plays.

Steve McClaren

Doumbia, signed on loan from AS Roma last week, played 45 minutes of Newcastle’s Under-21 Premier League debut to Stoke City at St James’s Park.

However, the 28-year-old looked short of fitness.

Doumbia – who had spent the first half of the season on loan at CSKA Moscow – hasn’t played a competitive game for two months because of the winter break in Russia.

But head coach McClaren feels he is fit enough to make a contribution at Stamford Bridge, where Aleksandar Mitrovic will again lead the line.

Asked if he was fit enough to play and start – if needed – McClaren said: “Yes, I think so.

“You can see what he’s got – he’s a finisher.

“I’m looking forward to the time he steps on and plays.”