Newcastle United supporters have been pretty downbeat in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their side suffer a second successive Premier League defeat after going down 1-0 at home to West Brom on Saturday.
Rafa Benitez’s men went into their encounter with the division’s bottom club at St James’ Park off the back of losing 1-0 at home to Everton in their previous league outing, a result which brought to an end their four-match winning streak. And the Magpies were unable to get back to winning ways on Saturday as well as a Matt Phillips strike during the first half was enough to seal all three points for Darren Moore’s side, thus keeping their very slim survival hopes alive for another week.
Thus, there have been many disappointed Newcastle fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are hoping their side can bounce back and finish the season strongly, starting with victory at Watford next weekend.
Yet some of our resident Magpies supporters are already looking ahead to the summer and who their club should seek to sign, with many of the opinion that striker Islam Slimani, on loan from Leicester City, hasn’t convinced owner Mike Ashley to indeed splash the cash on bringing him to the club on a permanent basis.
Ultimately, the 29-year-old was brought in by Benitez on loan during the January window in a bid to bolster the Magpies’ attacking ranks, what with the likes of Joselu, Dwight Gayle, and Aleksandar Mitrovic simply not producing the goods in the first half of the season.
However, the Algeria international has had next to no impact since making the move to the North East, with Benitez having to wait until the final day of March, two months after he signed him, to be able to select the striker following a thigh injury.
And while he has appeared in three of their four Premier League games since then, he has failed to net for Newcastle and has just one assist to show for his endeavours – hardly the numbers Benítez would have been hoping for when he signed him back in January.
And given he then lashed out inexplicably at Baggies defender Ahmed Hegazi at the weekend, an incident he has since been charged with and could thus face a three-match ban, it’s plausible that he has already played his last game for the Magpies, as it is difficult to make a case for him earning a permanent deal.
Whereas many have lauded the impact made by Kenedy and Martin Dubravka since their additions during January, the same simply cannot be said of Slimani, which appears to be a gamble that hasn’t paid off – in fact, it might even be enough to convince owner Ashley that splashing the cash isn’t necessarily the answer.
Thus, the £19.8 million-rated forward (as per Transfermarkt) simply hasn’t done enough to warrant a permanent deal at the North East giants, which could leave his future very unclear heading into the summer months.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!