Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United may be in action on deadline day but that has not stopped the club from looking to add to their squad, for the rest of the season.
Newcastle United To Land Leicester City Man:
According to reports from Sky Sports, Leicester City star Islam Slimani is close to making a move to the St James’ this month, despite struggling with a thigh injury at the moment. A transfer target for West Ham United and AS Monaco, Slimani has failed to make an impact at King Power this season and is heading to Newcastle United on loan till the end of the season.
The Foxes are reportedly happy to let him leave but what will he bring to Rafa’s side?
Slimani And His Numbers:
Though he has managed just two league starts this season for Leicester City, Slimani has a decent scoring record with the Foxes, since his move to England at the start of the previous season. He has 13 goals and seven assists in 46 appearances across all competitions for the former English Champions but has failed to cement a place in the first team.
His record of 57 goals and 15 assists in 111 appearances for Sporting CP before moving to the Premier League is indicative of his talent and Rafa will hope that he can find such form at the St James’ this season.
A tall and dominating centre-forward, who loves to play on the shoulder of the defenders, Slimani is a smart footballer, who makes intelligent runs into the box, inviting crosses constantly. He can dribble past his player, with the ball at his feet but is more of a target man, who can hold the ball up and wait to improve numbers in attack.
He is lethal with his finishing in and around the box and is usually at the end of every decent cross and is perfect for the English game. His touch and technique also create chances for his teammates, which will definitely improve this Newcastle United side.
First Choice For Rafa?
The former Liverpool manager has used Joselu for most of the games this season in the domestic league but the Spaniard and the likes of Dwight Gayle, Ayoze Perez and Aleksandar Mitrovic have failed to create or score enough goals while leading the attack for the side.
This is where Slimani will be a huge upgrade. At 29, he may not be a long-term option but his experience will allow him to settle into the side quickly and if the Magpies can play to his strengths, Slimani is enough of a force to take them closer to the top half of the table.
He has by no means been bad for the Foxes, who have better options. But for Newcastle, Slimani would probably walk into the first team and coming on loan, can turn into a season-changing signing for the Tyne-side outfit.
Stats Courtesy: Whoscored