Newcastle United supporters have been reasonably satisfied in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their side secure a decent point from their trip to Crystal Palace last weekend, thus edging them a point closer to safety.
Rafa Benitez’s men went into their clash with the Eagles off the back of drawing 1-1 at home to Burnley in their preceding league encounter, a result which took their winless league run to three matches dating back to their New Year’s Day success at Stoke City. And that streak now stands at four games as although they took the lead at Selhurst Park through midfielder Mo Diame, the hosts hit back just ten minutes after half time through Luka Milivojevic’s penalty, thus leaving both sides having to settle for a share of the spoils.
Subsequently, there have been some satisfied and some frustrated Magpies fans in the Tavern in the last few days, and they are likely to be intrigued by a recent report from Sky Sports, which suggests that striker Islam Slimani was not manager Benitez’s top target in January.
The 29-year-old forward made the move to St James’ Park from fellow Premier League outfit Leicester City on deadline day last month, in the bid to help the Magpies’ flagging forward ranks which have managed just 24 goals in their 26 Premier League matches.
And while the Algeria international will certainly bolster that department, Sky Sports journalist Keith Downie believes that the forward was not Benitez’s top target for the month, and was actually around ‘fourth or fifth choice’ for the Newcastle boss.
And this news that Benitez was unable to land his priority target is unlikely to delight our resident Magpies fans, who have themselves voiced their frustration with the club’s transfer policy after bringing in just three loan signings during the winter window.
Landlord’s verdict: Newcastle United went into the January transfer window knowing that reinforcements were needed to improve their Premier League survival chances, yet at the start of February it remains to be seen whether their business was effective enough to stay in the division.
Kenedy, Martin Dubravka, and Islam Slimani made temporary moves to St James’ Park in a bid to help Rafa Benitez’s side avoid relegation, yet recent reports suggest that the latter wasn’t a top priority for the former Chelsea and Real Madrid.
In fact, Sky Sports’ Keith Downie believes that Slimani was ‘fourth of fifth choice’ on Benitez’s list of striking targets, in news which will only serve to fuel Magpies fans’ frustration with the club’s transfer policy, a policy which could have severe consequences come the end of the season.
Newcastle fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know!
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