29-year-old Algerian International Islam Slimani has yet to make his debut for Newcastle, and we are hoping that will be on Saturday at Bournemouth and that our new loan signing will either start the game or come on as a substitute.
Slimani has missed out last two games – the 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace and the 1-0 defeat of Manchester United with what has been described as a slight thigh problem.
The Chronicle is reporting the 6ft 2ins striker has been putting in extra training sessions during the current two-week break to ensure he is fit to play on Saturday.
Islam Slimani – giving a press conference on February 9th
He did fly home to Algeria last weekend and was seen training over the weekend – so this player is really motivated to play on Saturday.
However, Slimani has been putting in extra hours on the training ground during Newcastle’s two-week break, brought about due to the Magpies’ early FA Cup exit.
Much like one of our other loan signings Dubravka, Slimani is keen on a permanent transfer to Newcastle this summer.
But he will need to show he is a better striker than what we already have.
Rafa had said this about the striker after the Manchester United win when Islam wasn’t in the squad:
“He’s fine, but still he was feeling it a little bit,”
“And it’s a question now of waiting because we have 15 days before the next game so we can keep working with him.”
It was actually 13 days from when we beat Man United a week last Sunday and our game at Bournemouth on Saturday.
It will be a disappointment if Slimani does not make the squad for Saturday, but we should find that out during Rafa’s press conference on Friday.
We really need another win at Bournemouth on Saturday.
Hopefully with the help of Slimani.