Drogba's understudy is ready to take his chances

The Scouting Report: Seydou Doumbia, Ivory Coast
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The Independent Online

Maybe it is because they have only played three finals matches in their history but Ivory Coast at least hold the notional record of having scored in every one of their World Cup games. Those who imagined that this modest record might fall should Didier Drogba fail to recover from a broken arm against Portugal should reckon with his deputy Seydou Doumbia.

Physically, the two are completely different. If Drogba has a boxer's physique, then Doumbia, who is 10 years younger, is small, (5ft 10in) agile and full of pace. Although it is two years since he made his debut for Ivory Coast against Japan, he has yet to start a game for the Elephants. Nevertheless, he can fairly claim to be an impact player, having scored against Germany within two minutes of coming on in Gelsenkirchen last November. The match, which became almost a memorial to the Germany keeper Robert Enke, who had committed suicide days before, finished 2-2, with only a very late strike from Lukas Podolski salvaging a draw for the home side.

A graduate of the Mimosas academy in Abidjan, Doumbia had to learn to adapt to life in Japan as a teenager, moving first to Kashiwa Reysol and then Tokushima Vortis, minor clubs for whom he produced relatively modest performances.

However, it was when he moved to Switzerland to join Young Boys, shortly after his international debut, that his career took off.

Young Boys had not won the Swiss league since 1986 but Doumbia's 50 goals in two seasons took them desperately close before they were pipped by Basel. His successes have earned him a lucrative move to CSKA Moscow after the World Cup.

Information provided by The Scouting Network, a specialist agency which provides information for the leading clubs in Europe.

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