By Alton Harewood
SPOTLIGHT ON: Souleymane Doukara
DOB: Sept. 29, 1991
POB: Meudon, France
Height: 1.86m (6ft 1in)
The Italian connection theme Massimo Cellino has introduced brought Souleymane Doukara to Leeds, initially on loan, but prior to the end of the transfer window on September 1st he was given a permanent 3 year deal. The young player hails from Calcio Catania. With his Italian club entering Serie B last year after a quite amazing previous year, Doukara has had a difficult time making the first team. Most of his time this past year with the club has in fact been on loan.
Leeds picked him up on loan too and his presence was felt in early games this season. He scored twice in fact against Accrington Stanley and looked strong against Middlesbrough. Since his benching due to an injury sustained in that game, Leeds have not shown some of the early flair that started to get hopes up. Doukara will be out for a few more weeks but his early performance is a proof point around the fact that it is possible to pick up talent within the budget Cellino has been using and Leeds can attract good players.
Though he was born in France, presumably has French citizenship and speaks both French and Italian, Doukara can qualify to play for Senegal by virtue of both of his parents birth place and expressed his interest earlier in 2014. There was a neat little interview with Doukara in French that revealed a little about the way he thinks and I've paraphrased some key points below (French being one of the joys of living in Montreal):
He speaks with fondness of his deceased manager Malick Ba appreciative that he got him into the Italian leagues. His first year was tough due to language (think Leeds & English...) but he had friends that helped him out (the little Italian clique and perhaps the Swiss too may help him in that respect)
He talks about the early efforts to establish himself in the lower Italian leagues and looking forward to scoring for Catania. (Something he didn't achieve with them yet has already started at Leeds.) He keeps a solid head and his reasons for taking loan contracts really were down to wanting to play. He talks about having a good, positive aggression as a player. It is in this interview he talks about the idea that he'd like to play for Senegal
Thanks @FranckieTourdre for the interview, it helped provide some interesting background about Doukara from his own lips!
In addition to his striking capabilities, Doukara has strength to play the wing, a position not favored by the recent departing coach, perhaps we will see some of his capabilities upon his return to the squad.
On va dire bienvenue (We're going to say welcome...) to Leeds United Souleymane! MOT!