Newcastle fans in the Tavern can look forward to another season in the Premier League next year but will be hoping Mike Ashley will finally back Rafael Benitez in the transfer market to bring the Magpies up the table.
There were times where Newcastle looked destined for another relegation battle, but Rafa Benitez has certainly guided his side to the top ten in the Premier League table. Indeed, it’s even more amazing to think that the Magpies had a net spend of over just £20m, meaning they have struggled at both ends of the pitch, yet still managed to stave off the drop.
Ayoze Perez leads their goal scoring chart with just seven goals with £5m signing Joselu netting only five goals since his move from Premier League rivals, Stoke. Meanwhile, the signing from Chelsea, Christian Atsu has scored twice since the move from Stamford Bridge.
Benitez moved for Leicester striker, Islam Slimani, on loan in January to improve his firepower but an injury has restricted him to just three appearances so far. However, the Spaniard revealed the Algerian has already proved his worth at St. James Park despite being sidelined and hinted the club could make his loan move a permanent one.
The 29-year-old became Leicester’s record signing when he left Sporting Lisbon for the Foxes in a big money deal two years ago. Despite his struggles, the Foxes are likely to want to recoup a bulk of that transfer fee but are open to him leaving the club permanently. Still, the Toon Army really should consider paying the money it takes to bring him to Tyneside this summer.
Though he’s currently surplus to requirements at the King Power Stadium, Slimani chipped in with crucial goals while at the club and would make a good signing for the Magpies. A target man, though one far more mobile than he’s often given credit for, the former Sporting Lisbon striker is an ideal marksman for a Rafa Benitez side.
The Newcastle crowd love themselves a big striker to fall in love with and the idea of Slimani heading in a bullet in front of the Gallowgate has certainly excited our punters clad in black and white. Playing alongside Jamie Vardy probably wasn’t the ideal position for a target man like Slimani and Benitez could get the best out of him if he stays fit – similar to how he utilised Peter Crouch during his time with Liverpool.
Newcastle fans, do you want Islam Slimani at the club next season? Let us know!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!