The signing of Latrell Mitchell, according to various media reports, has pushed Balmain Junior Adam Doueihi onto the open market.
Signed by Michael Maguire during his time as Souths as an 18-year-old, Doueihi in first grade has proven his versatility by showing he can play both in the Halves and also at Fullback.
Here are my 5 reasons why Justin Pascoe and Madge should go all in on the Lebanese International despite his heavily back ended contract.
He can fill an immediate need at Fullback
It is no secret that the Tigers are in the market for a quality number 1.
Although traditionally a Five-Eighth, Adam Doueihi was thrown into the Fullback position by master coach Wayne Bennett in round 17 against the Manly Sea Eagles and did not let anyone down.
The Rabbitohs went on to go within one game of a Grand Final, falling short to the Raiders.
Doueihi impressed Bennett so much in 2019 that it was reported that he was promised the number 1 jersey ahead of more experienced fullbacks Alex Johnston and Corey Allan.
That was all before the signing of Latrell Mitchell.
Surely if Doueihi is good enough to play Fullback for a top 4 team he can also do a job for the Tigers.
I’ve read people talking about Doueihi’s supposed lack of speed and athleticism, however in response to these comments, I would like to remind people that Doueihi in 2019 was coming back from an ACL injury, an injury that usually takes at least 12 months to fully overcome.
This points to the fact that the young playmaker is in for a big 2020.
Doueihi’s size and playmaking ability makes me believe that he could potentially push the Tigers into the top 8 adding that extra dimension of attack that has been missing since the departure of James Tedesco.
He can replace club legend Benji Marshall in the number 6 Jumper
Although not confirmed, 2020 will most probably be the King Benji Marshall’s last year.
With the Tigers recent inability to attract big name signings and the fact that there is no clear answer from within the squad at the moment, Adam Doueihi to me seems like a logical replacement.
The Balmain Junior already has a relationship with Michael Maguire and has shown that he has the potential to be a gifted playmaker in the NRL.
Instead of paying overs to an established NRL player, which seems like the only way the Tigers are able to sign key players, the Wests Tigers should invest in Doueihi who is a young and up and coming playmaker.
This way, the Tigers are thinking ahead and ensuring they have a top quality spine.
Then if players like Jock Madden or even Tommy Talau shine in the Halves, Doueihi can be moved to fullback.
This signing would add flexibility to the team.
Doueihi is also only 21 years old meaning that he has a lot of growing to do in terms of his already impressive first grade career which I hope he does in a Tigers Jersey.
He would complement Luke Brook’s strength as a running Halfback
Having watched Luke Brooks since the beginning of his career, one thing I have noticed is that he excels when he is not the organizer of the team.
It is no coincidence that Brook’s two best years, one in which he won Daily M Halfback of the year in 2018, have coincided with the return of Benji Marshall, a player who has the ability to run the team in attack.
The signing of Doueihi gives Brooks the ability to focus on his running game which makes him elite as a Halfback in the competition.
The more Luke Brooks runs the ball, the better the Tigers look in attack therefore it is imperative that the Tigers get someone who can who can fill a similar role to Marshall.
Having learnt from one of the best in Adam Reynolds, I think that Adam Doueihi has all the attributes in his game to compliment Brooks as an Organizing Half.
Doueihi’s short and long range kicking game is very impressive and he has often filled in at the number 7 Jersey for Souths while Adam Reynolds have been injured.
Doueihi to me seems like the logical replacement for Marshall going forward.
His unique body shape and ability to play fullback also tell me that he can develop his running game which is want you want from a Five-Eight as he is a big body that is hard to tackle.
A Marquee free agent might never come
There have been media reports in the last few days that the Tigers want to wait for the right player to become available before they spend the cash.
Well newsflash, there is no guarantee that is going to happen.
The Tigers can’t base their roster management on the hope that a top class player will do a Ryan Matterson and look to break their pre-existing contract.
The hard truth is that elite players such as Latrell Mitchell don’t become truly available every day and the Tigers messed up their chance.
They offered more money and a longer contract but Mitchell still signed with Souths and on essentially a 1-year deal for less money.
Why should Tigers fans have any faith that even if a marquee free agent becomes available, the club could actually close the deal and sign them.
Doueihi on the other hand is a Tigers Junior with a history with Madge who can play two positions that the club has a need for.
He does have the potential to become a star in the game which why the Tigers shouldn’t pass up, regardless of the current value of his contract.
Melbourne want Doueihi
There are rumors going around that the Melbourne Storm are interested in a player swap that would send Adam Doueihi to the Storm for Josh Addo-Carr.
Surely if arguably the greatest ever Coach in Craig Bellamy thinks that Doueihi is worth swapping for a current State of origin player in the Fox, then the Tigers should also be pursuing the young playmaker.
Unlike the Tigers, the Storm rarely ever mess up recruitment therefore I’m hoping that Pascoe is taking notes and pushes for the signature of Doueihi.
I for one am sick of seeing Tigers Juniors thrive in Melbourne.
(Photo Credit – NRL.com)