Newcastle play Bournemouth at Dean Court next Saturday, and we are hoping to see new arrival Islam Slimani in the starting line-up.
However, there’s news today in the Chronicle that Islam fully expects to fight for his place at Newcastle.
The Algerian has been injured since he arrived on transfer deadline day last month but the slight thigh injury has now healed.
Slimani has had a tough time of it since arriving at Leicester from Sporting Lisbon over eighteen months ago and could not win the starting striker role from Jamie Vardy.
Islam Slimani – proud to play for Newcastle United
But Rafa has brought in a player who is keen to prove himself in the Premier League and he’s a good player.
Islam will have to fight it out with Dwight Gayle and Joselu, but we expect Rafa to build the way we attack around Slimani’s strengths.
He is a very good header of the ball and new boy Kenedy crosses the ball extremely accurately.
So we hope to see that combination be the source of some goals before the end of the season.
This is what Slimani has said in the Chronicle:
“I like to play regularly. That’s what my aim is and that’s what I have always wanted to do.”
“I am going to fight for my place and be able to play as much as possible. Football is my passion and I want to show what I can do.”
“The most important thing for me is to win games, that comes before me scoring personally or personal glory.”
“No matter who scores the most important thing is to win. Obviously, I want to get goals as quickly as possible but points come first.”
“I played in Portugal first and I learned so much out there.”
“It put me in good stead to come and play in the Premier League and I now feel ready.”
“It is a big dream for me to play in the Premier League.”
“For me and my family, it is a very proud moment to play for a club like Newcastle United.”
“Everybody in Algeria is very, very proud of me. The people there are following my career.”
It’s always good to have players on Tyneside who want to be here and are proud to wear the shirt.
Rafa can bring the best out of Slimani and the manager has a knack of making his players confident – which is more than half the battle for any player – having confidence.
If Slimani can fit in and help to make and score goals for us through the end of the season that will help us survive in the Premier League.,
But we need wins – four more wins to be safe – and a win next Saturday at Dean Court is just what the doctor ordered.