Rafa Benitez is well known for his powers of persuasion and usually once he talks to a player they usually want to join the world-class coach.
That happened last summer when Rafa made a point of visiting and talking to Tammy Abraham at the St. Georges Park training center, and as far as Rafa was concerned he was coming to Newcastle on loan, but somebody screwed that up.
And there’s news today that it needed a call from Rafa Benitez to Islam Slimani to persuade the 29-year-old experienced Algerian International to come to Newcastle after West Ham manager David Moyes thought he was going to join the Hammers.
Islam Slimani – persuaded By Rafa to join Newcastle
Monaco and West Bromwich Albion were also trying to sign Slimani on loan, and Algerian outlet Le Buteur is reporting that Roma made an attempt to sign Slimani as a replacement for Edin Dzeko – if he had signed on at Chelsea.
Dzeko didn’t join Chelsea, and that’s the reason Slimani is now at Newcastle – phew!
The report claims that Slimani wanted to join Newcastle after he talked with Rafa – and hopefully, if Islam plays well for us in the last 12 vital games of the season we can sign him permanently – we need new strikers this summer.
But that’s also exactly what we said last summer.
Slimani is expected to be in the squad to play Manchester United on Sunday afternoon – and he could even start with his thigh injury now seemingly healed fully.
Rafa’s powers of persuasion will be needed in the summer if we are to get some top class players into the club.
But if Mike Ashley is still in charge we will have to lower our expectations – again.