French side Toulouse have completed the signing of Wolverhampton Wanderers midfield Tongo Doumbia and it completes a fairly miserable time for the Malian player since he joined the midlands club from Ligue 1 side Rennes in 2012.
Doumbia made the move after spending three years with the Breton club and was looking for a new challenge. His first year at Wolves was far from a failure; he played 16 games in the Championship and scored twice from the centre of midfield.
His second season was definitely one to forget as his club were relegated down to League One with Doumbia playing slightly less minutes, it was a disastrous season overall for Wolves, with Stale Solbakken in charge for six months, then Dean Saunders, the side dropped to the England’s third tier.
Under new boss Kenny Jackett, Doumbia was deemed surplus to requirements and was loaned out to Ligue 1 side Valenciennes. Although the northern side were relegated to Ligue 2, it was a good season for Doumbia.
He made 34 starts and two appearances from the bench, scored four goals and overall impressed as the club tried to fight for their lives in Ligue 1.
As part of a midfield trio, Doumbia showed good energy, the ability to fight in the midfield and was an overall success for the club. Obviously Toulouse saw enough of the midfielder’s qualities to bring him back permanently to France.
Toulouse also play three central-midfielders in Alain Casanova’s 3-5-2 formation and Doumbia is the ideal type of player to make the system work. He can play both sides of the game well and will link well between the defence and the two-man attack.
Toulouse finished in ninth place last season and the hope was that with some consistency and some great signings, they can consolidate that position and try and push towards a place in next season’s Europa League.
The signing of George Saville from Chelsea opened the door for Doumbia to leave the midlands. Kenny Jackett has opted for a more British style side and it suits all three parties that the Malian has left for Toulouse.