In his quest to guide Newcastle United to Premier League safety following their promotion from the Championship, Rafael Benitez brought in Leicester City striker Islam Slimani on loan last January.
And despite the Algerian’s struggles with the Foxes, his arrival at St. James’ Park was one that supporters were still delighted about.
Is it too late for a champions league push now?
— payne (@Payneymp) January 31, 2018
— The Looney Toon (@The_Looney_Toon) January 31, 2018
— smiley (@smiley_nufc) January 31, 2018
Please save us
— ToonArmy (@NufcFootie) January 31, 2018
Welcome to the toon @slimaniislam If you give everything and help keep us up you will be a legend here.
— Dell (@agbnufc) January 31, 2018
— Daniel (@danstephenson12) January 31, 2018
Hope this works out well for us and @slimaniislam ! Lots of goals hopefully and a contract offer in the summer! Fingers crossed.
— Francis (@franmolloy11) February 1, 2018
Good signing, I think a run of games will get the best out of him!
— EJ (@Michael_EJones) January 31, 2018
Given his exploits at Sporting Lisbon before joining Leicester, it was not surprising to see Newcastle fans react in that manner.
In his final full season in the Primeira Liga, the 30-year-old scored an impressive 27 goals in 33 appearances, while with Leicester, albeit he was unable to replicate such figures, he did show glimpses of his quality.
Most notably, Slimani was very good in the air, evident from the goals he did manage to score as a Leicester player, adding to why he looked like a solid capture for Newcastle, especially considering the budget Benitez was working with.
In the end, though, the Algeria international’s loan move to St. James’ Park was probably a waste of everyone’s time.
During his short tenure there, he was only able to make four Premier League appearances, failing to score in any of them.
Slimani is now playing his football in Turkey with Fenerbahce for the campaign, where he has also been struggling. Meanwhile, Newcastle have since go on to acquire Salomon Rondon on loan with the Venezuelan looking like the much better Premier League striker out of the two.
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