Cardiff City are said to be monitoring Rennes full-back Souleyman Doumbia, according to L’Equipe.
Neil Harris is yet to make a signing for Cardiff this month, but Doumbia could be his first. The ex-Millwall boss said soon into his tenure in South Wales that outgoings would be the priority this month.
But the Rennes left-back is the first name to be linked with Cardiff this transfer window – the Ivorian international has been exiled from the Rennes first-team this season and he’s outlined his desire to leave on-loan before the end of the month.
Cardiff have competition to sign him though, with Dutch outfit FC Utrecht and French side Angers also monitoring him – here’s three qualities that Cardiff fans can expect from the 23-year-old if the deal goes through:
Like a lot of modern full-back Doumbia loves to get further up the pitch and muck in with the attacking side of the game. He’s blessed with plenty of pace and power and that’s an ideal trait for any full-back – Cardiff seem to lack pace if anything this season, and Doumbia should answer a lot of fans’ prayers.
Harris has been deploying the likes of Lee Peltier and Joe Bennett at full-back – both experienced enough, but neither will be found bombing down the touchline, creating chances or scoring goals.
The problem with a lot of full-backs or wing-backs in today’s game is that they are effective going forward, but not so much in defending. As a full-back, the first and foremost quality that you must have is to be able to defend. Doumbia would be an asset to Cardiff because he can back up his attacking threat with some a sound defensive ability too.
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He can put in tackles and he’ll not shy away from a header – he’d fit right into that Cardiff defence that played drew 0-0 with Swansea last weekend, and fans would surely warm to him.
Despite being the tender age of 23, Doumbia is an experienced footballer – he plied his trade in the top league in Switzerland with Grasshopper Zurich before his move to Rennes, and is a full international with Ivory Coast.
He began his career with PSG, coming through the ranks there but being unable to work his way into the first-team. At this stage of the season, and with Cardiff seemingly starting to falter under Harris, a player with Doumbia’s pedigree would surely go down well with the fans.