Newcastle United fans in the Transfer Tavern have been delighted with how the team have played since the turn of the year, however, they have hardly been able to see how one man can influence the side much since he joined in January.
Islam Slimani arrived at St. James’ Park on the final day of the January transfer window from Leicester City as Rafa Benitez looked to add firepower to his squad to help boost their chances of Premier League survival.
The Algerian has struggled with injury and has also faced time out due to ineligibility, as he was ready to play against his parent club, but rules dictate that he is not allowed. However, it is believed the manager is willing to give him his chance in the final stretch to see if he can make a big impact and see if he could make a switch to the north-east permanently, according to reports.
The Chronicle Live are stating that Benitez is willing to give the former Sporting Lisbon star a chance and is prepared to wait until the end of the season to see how the attacker performs. A review between the Magpies and the Foxes is understood to be scheduled for the end of the campaign, with Benitez said to know just how frustrated the forward has been.
“The timing was bad because he was getting better and getting fitter,” he told the Chronicle Live.
“He could have easily played at Leicester but had to wait.
“We can’t change that but he has been training well.
“Hopefully, he will go on to prove a good addition for us this season still.
“Islam still has six games left.
“We’ve spoken about Kenedy and Martin Dubravka as good additions in January so hopefully Islam can also give us something different.
“He’s already improved the attack in terms of competition.
“It’s also quite positive.”
Newcastle fans in the Tavern will be watching on with interest to see how Slimani does in the final six games of the season and will be hoping he proves to be as big a hit as Kenedy and Dubravka have as well. If he does, the locals will be calling for the Magpies to ensure they can strike a deal with the Foxes for a player not seemingly wanted at the King Power Stadium.
Desperate for a proper striker, Slimani could get a lovely few auditions between now and the end of the campaign.
Newcastle fans – thoughts?
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