At his press conference today Rafa talked about the two late arrivals in the last few hours of the January transfer window.
We got two good players in – striker Islam Slimani and goalkeeper Dubravka and they should help strengthen the spine of the team.
And we’re pretty sure that a big target this summer will be a top central creative midfielder.
The positive news is the two players arriving on Wednesday night, as well as Kenedy, were wanted by Rafa.
Islam Slimani – training at Benton
Here’s what Rafa said about striker Slimani:
“We were looking for something different. Obviously, in attack, we needed to change something, to be sure we could increase competition and have different solutions.”
“He knows the Premier League is a strong lad and has a very good scoring record in Portugal.”
“Slimani has a small thigh problem but it is not as big as people said – he has been training and will have a fitness test tomorrow.”
We are hoping Slimani and Kenedy can transform Newcastle in the last third of the pitch, so we are a lot more menacing and can even start scoring goals.
Rafa has also wanted a senior goalkeeper in since last summer, and he finally got him – 29 year-old Martin Dubravka the Slovakian International from Sparta Prague.
This is what Rafa said about the 29-year-old:
“To find a keeper is January that’s playing, and bring him here, is not easy because nobody wants to sell the top scorer or the keeper!”
“He’s good in terms of playing with his feet, he’s agile, he has personality and very good English.”
“A lot of positives.”
“Dubravka has been training normally but he has not been here long. All the keepers will have the chance to compete”
We are almost certain that Darlow will keep his place for Sunday’s game, but he will know he will need to be in top form to keep his place for our next game – at home To Manchester United a week on Sunday.
It could be a few games before Dubravka makes his debut for Newcastle.