Rafa Praises Slimani – But Hints At Top Striker Target This Summer

Rafa has been talking to the Chronicle and he has said that while he’s happy to get Islam Slimani through the door, his first choice striker in last month’s transfer window was Nicolai Jorgensen of Feyenoord.

So don’t be surprised if Rafa tries to being the Danish striker in this summer when Newcastle should have a lot more money to spend in the transfer window whoever the owner is.

Maybe we can also sign Slimani this summer if he does well for us?

Islam Slimani – Rafa pleased to get him

This is what Rafa has said today about last month’s transfer window:

“Obviously we were looking for options, different options, different characteristics of players.”

“And then players, if it was possible, with experience in the Premier League or players who are fit and scoring goals.”

“That was the striker of Feyenoord.”

“But then if you cannot do that, you have to go for players who know the league and who can do well from day one.”

“In this case, Islam came with a little bit of a problem in his thigh, but he has been training.”

“And I was with him on the pitch, so he is on the pitch training – but still we will see how he is and how he feels.”

“No, Slimani’s not a risk – he’s a player that they paid, I think, £30M for him,”

“I watched him in Portugal and he did well, but he’s a player that if you have Jamie Vardy up front and the way he is playing, it’s very difficult to play ahead of him.”

“But he is a player who knows the league, he’s strong, he can run behind defenders, different things that we don’t have.”

“We have players, one can run, one can win in the air, one can be strong, but Slimani maybe can do a little bit of everything. That’s another option for me.”

“We knew about him but, when Leicester paid £30M for him, we started thinking about other things – but then when we heard he was available on loan, he became an option.”

“He’s a good signing. Clubs were pushing until the last minute so we had to do it quickly and we had to do it well, it was not easy.”

“The main thing is we have finished the transfer window and everyone knows where we are, so it’s not people thinking: ‘Maybe I’ll be there…’.”

“That’s it. You are here, you have to perform, you have to train well and when they see new players around, it increases the competition.”

“The three ‘keepers trained really well and you will see the strikers, they have to perform.”

“Kenedy playing well the other day is pushing the wingers and the other players around, so it’s always positive.”

Rafa is happy with Slimani but it looks like he may go after Nicolai Jorgensen again this summer if that’s the player he really wants.

Sign up both of them!

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Comments welcome.

13 comments so far

  • Tsunki

    Feb 3, 2018 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #1

    Had to take a close look to make sure Lee “I riddled myself again” Charnley actually loaned Yousseph “It’s Chico Time” Slimani by mistake. There’s a song we wouldn’t want on YouTube.

  • G

    Feb 3, 2018 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #2

    Still have my concerns about Jorgensen not being a good fit for the Prem, however, if he does come in the summer and prove me wrong I will be delighted to eat my words.

  • AncientC

    Feb 3, 2018 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #3

    Charnley brags to Benitez about fighting off interest from West Ham to sign Slimani. “Did I do you proud, Rafa, did I?”

    The next day Benitez reads how Leicester wouldn’t do business with West Ham due to Brady’s comments about Ranieri.

    I credit Karen Brady more with the signing of Slimani than Lee Charnley.

    Good job Jib isn’t here, he wouldn’t enjoy the above comment very much.

  • Geremi's Prosthetic Leg Fund

    Feb 3, 2018 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #4

    The big question is will Slimani play on Sunday? Will Rafa risk him? This is a huge game and we no longer have the comfort of being able to rest players and let them bed in. We need to take risks at this stage. We’ve had half a season and more of playing it cautious, playing the margins. It’s kept us afloat by the skin of our teeth, and with those around us strengthening quite significantly, it won’t be enough for the remainder of the season.

  • AncientC

    Feb 3, 2018 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #5

    Slimani’s medical was probably more like the ‘finger to nose sobriety test.’ Can he walk in a straight line? Yup. That’ll do.

  • Tsunki

    Feb 3, 2018 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #6

    Slimani is injured like Mitrovic is injured I’m betting. They’ll both be up and running in no time 😉 miracles of modern science.

  • Tsunki

    Feb 3, 2018 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #7

    Funny isn’t it this digital age where once our past mistakes and indiscretions were gently brushed under the rug of time and decaying interest – now every footprint remains as fresh as the day you put your foot in it 🙂

    We’re all dead I tell you.

  • AncientC

    Feb 3, 2018 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #8

    To be fair, Slimani doesn’t look like the type that would hobble even if he had a broken leg. “Walk it off comrade, don’t be a pussy”—as they say in Algeria.

  • Tsunki

    Feb 3, 2018 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #9

    At least this morning here’s some respite from the tedious multiple stalkers from last night, they’re probably lying in an empty bath in a sleeping bag slurping energy drinks and chewing Feminax to ease their white lightning hangovers.

  • Tsunki

    Feb 3, 2018 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #10

    I note there doesn’t seem to be a great question of religious protest of the sins of betting company sponsorship. 😉

  • Tsunki

    Feb 3, 2018 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #11

    Or is that no longer in the Sin Guidebook?

  • ArtyH

    Feb 3, 2018 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #12

    So in essence we loaned out a fat Alex and brought in a Slim Arnie, hope the big guy brings his ” A ” game and in a few months say ” I’ll be back “.

  • Geordie-john

    Feb 3, 2018 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #13

    Let’s hope that everything fits together well on the pitch on Sunday and we give Palace and everyone else watching something to think about. A good victory will do and if we are lucky enough to score first may the lads keep on pushing and not sit back and relax. A good high scoring win is what is needed for us Geordies to lift EVERYONE’S spirits.


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