Newcastle United supporters have been pretty despondent in the Transfer Tavern in the last couple of days after seeing their side lose 2-1 at Watford on Saturday to suffer a third successive Premier League defeat.
Rafa Benitez’s men won four matches in a row between March and April to secure their top-flight status for the 2018/19 campaign, this all after winning promotion from the Championship just 12 months ago. Yet they have since lost three straight games at the hands of Everton, West Brom, and now Watford, with first half goals from Roberto Pereyra and Andre Gray doing the damage for Javi Gracia’s team, as although Ayoze Perez got one back after the break, it wasn’t enough to prevent a 17th defeat of the season.
Subsequently, there have been several disappointed Newcastle supporters in the Tavern in recent times, many of whom are hoping their team can finish the season strongly, starting with victory at Tottenham this evening.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Magpies fans to get their teeth into, not least recent reports suggesting that their club will not seek to make Islam Slimani’s move permanent this summer.
And given that the Algeria international has offered next to nothing since his arrival from Leicester City back in January, the Magpies appear to have made the right call in ending their interest in the forward.
Ultimately, the 29-year-old was lured from the King Power Stadium during the winter window in a bid to bolster Newcastle’s attacking ranks, what with the Magpies at the time struggling to get the goals necessary to stay in the division.
Yet when Slimani arrived in the North East with a thigh problem, our resident Magpies supporters weren’t holding out a great deal of hope regarding what contributions the striker might make, and they were vindicated in their doubts with just four appearances to show for his efforts.
Ironically, the likes of Perez and Dwight Gayle have actually looked a lot better since the turn of the year, to the point that, although Slimani hasn’t featured often, it hasn’t had a bearing on their fight for survival.
And with attentions turning towards next season, it’s clear from his minimal impact that it would be too big a risk for the club to take landing him on a permanent deal.
The injury he arrived at the club with took almost two months to clear, which will obviously be of concern further down the line, while his stupidity in lashing out at Ahmed Hegazi against West Brom last month, from which he received a three-match ban, calls into question whether he can be relied upon to lead the line for the Magpies.
Ultimately, Slimani had a chance, albeit not much of one given his injury troubles, to prove to Benitez and the club why he deserved a permanent move away from Leicester – he quite simply failed to do that.
As such, the Magpies have absolutely made the right call reportedly ending their interest in the striker.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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