Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Controversial striker El-Hadji Diouf has dropped down to the Championship to join Doncaster Rovers on a three-month deal. The move is still to be rubber-stamped but the Senegalese player has decided to sign for Dean Saunders’ Yorkshire outfit after being released by Blackburn in the summer. The two-time African Footballer of the Year is well known in these parts after spells with Liverpool, Bolton, Sunderland and Rangers and he has, of course, been in his fair share of trouble.
In September 2003, Diouf was fined £5,000 and pleaded guilty to spitting at Celtic fans in a Uefa Cup quarter-final the previous March and in six years later, he was questioned by police over allegations he racially abused a ball-boy at Everton. In truth, that isn’t even the half of it but whether you like him or not, he has undoubted quality – of that there is no doubt. The majority of soccer betting will agree with this.
However, you can’t deny that controversy follows Diouf wherever he roams and an adverse reaction from West Ham supporters is thought to be one of the main reasons why Hammers chief Sam Allardyce opted against signing him recently. It would have been the third time that Allardyce had worked with the 30-year-old but after he had a short trial spell at Upton Park recently, it seems that fan power won the day and Doncaster nipped in to agree a deal with Diouf. They have handed the man who commanded a £10million transfer fee when he joined Liverpool from Lens a short-term contract.
Saunders has already shown that he’s not afraid to take a gamble on Premier League experience with the acquisition of ex-Spurs defender Pascal Chimbonda, and the Welsh boss – who himself only moved to the Keepmoat Stadium earlier this season from Wrexham – will be hoping that another proven performer can help Rovers climb the Championship table. He will, however, be banking on the Diouf experiment lasting a shade longer than Chris Kirkland’s recent spell at Doncaster, when the injury-prone goalkeeper picked up a back spasm – cutting his loan move from Wigan short after less than a week.
As always with Diouf, it promises to be interesting. For Doncaster as a whole, they certainly need a lift after a poor start to the Championship campaign. They currently sit 23rd in the table after securing only two victories so far this season. They have also only scored nine goals in fourteen games, a very poor return indeed. So, even though Diouf is somewhat of a risk, they will hope that he can provide the spark to improve their fortunes in front of goal. He will get his first chance to impress at home to promotion chasing Middlesbrough tomorrow evening.
What are your thoughts on Diouf's move to the Championship? Will Doncaster succeed with this strange signing? Share your thoughts in the comments below!