There’s news in the Chronicle today with Rafa giving an update on Islam Slimani.
He’s been training with a fitness coach all week in Murcia, and he will not be playing tomorrow.
But the strange thing is that he’s still going to link up with the Algerian squad – but surely he cannot be playing for them in either of the two friendlies they have lined up.
Islam Slimani – will not play tomorrow
This is what Rafa has said about the on-loan striker today:
“He was not training with the team so he will not be part of the team tomorrow.”
He will (almost certainly) not play for Algeria but what we are worried about is if he trains with the Algerian squad – and whether they will go easy on him.
The very last thing we want to have happen is that his thigh muscle goes again – that would be disastrous for Newcastle.
It would also be very frustrating for the player.
So let’s hope that Rafa will get some real assurances from Algerian coach Rabah Madjer, who was appointed last October into that position.
Rafa had said this yesterday about the Algerian when it was still undecided whether he could play tomorrow:
“The point is that if he can be involved, he will be closer. If not, we have to wait and see what happens with the national team.”
“He has to go there, they have to check him. They know our plan, our program.”
“It’s just to follow this program, and if he can’t play here, they have to decide if he’s available there.”
“They have the plan already. Our doctor is in contact with them. We’ll see how he feels these two days, and after we’ll be monitoring him every day.”
“The plan is to see how he feels tomorrow. If he cannot play, he will go with the national team.”
Our other two loan players Martin Dubravka and Kenedy have been in excellent form for us and have played in the two home wins we have in the last four games.
And we are expecting that Slimani can still make a big difference up front when he finally makes his debut for Newcastle – hopefully, at home against Huddersfield two weeks today.
What do you think?