We don’t want to be too negative, but when you hear Rafa talk about Islam Slimani’s thigh injury, we feel the 29-year-old Algerian striker could be out longer than the two to three weeks Rafa first mentioned last week.
Until Friday’s press conference we thought he would be making his debut at Bournemouth last Saturday.
His injury was thought to be less than two to three weeks when he first arrived on January 31st, but last Tuesday in training he had a setback.
We need Slimani back soon, and it’s ironic and unfortunate that we don’t have Aleksandar Mitrovic available since he is on loan at Fulham.
As we’ve pointed out before we are now worse off after the January transfer window than we are before it – at least as far as the strikers are concerned.
But we cannot just complain, and Rafa will need to find a way to get through this period with only three fit strikers, but with Dwight feeling his hamstrings on Saturday it’s a little worrying.
Islam Slimani – out up to 3 weeks (or more)?
Rafa was asked the difference Slimani could make when fit, but he was non-committal with his response as reported in the Chronicle:
“We have to see if he’s fit, first. “If he’s fit, we will see.”
“But Dwight, Ayoze and Joselu, if they continue working like they worked in the week, and then afterward they score goals, that will be very good.”
“Slimani will have to compete for his position. Hopefully, he will be another body and before the end of the season, he will be another one who can help.”
“The point is to win these kinds of games, because maybe then you can manage the other games much more easily.”
“Maybe we will have to keep going to the last game, but whatever happens, we will have to stay calm and make the right decisions every time.”
We have to hope Islam makes a quick recovery from his latest setback.
But if Dwight has (significant) trouble with his hamstrings, it will be down to Perez and Joselu to get the job done.