Rafa About Slimani – He’s Already Improved The Attack – It’s Quite Positive

Since Islam Slimani signed for us on loan on January 31st, he has played only 15 minutes for Newcastle.

But now he is 100% fit he will be available in all of Newcastle’s final six games of the season.

The way he plays in those game will determine if Rafa wants to sign him permanently in the summer for a fee said to be around £20M.

It will be interesting to see if he will make a start against Arsenal on Sunday afternoon, where a win in that game will signal safety from relegation for Newcastle.

Islam Slimani – 6 games for the striker to make a big difference

Something we can all celebrate.

This is what manager Rafa Benitez told the Chronicle today about the status of Islam and about how he couldn’t play at Lassiter:

“The timing was bad because he was getting better and getting fitter.”

“He could have easily played at Leicester but had to wait.” “We can’t change that but he has been training well.”

“Hopefully, he will go on to prove a good addition for us this season still.” “Islam still has six games left.”

“We’ve spoken about Kenedy and Martin Dubravka as good additions in January, so hopefully Islam can also give us something different.”

“He’s already improved the attack in terms of competition.” “It’s also quite positive.”

Slimani joined Leicester for £28M on a five-year contract in August 2016 and struggled to make an impact at the Foxes.

But it’s surprising what a change of surroundings and club can make to a player.

But the proof of the pudding is in the eating so we will have to see how Slimani performs in a Newcastle shirt.

We hope he does well and some goals would help both Newcastle and the 29-year-old Algerian striker.

Comments welcome.

23 comments so far

  • lochinvar

    Apr 12, 2018 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #1

    I just have a feeling that Slimani will start on Sunday to unsettle Arsenal who can be fragile at the back.
    The player will be up for it and make a nuisance of himself which will encourage the crowd. He’s physical and can score headers so that’s also good news for crosses from Ritchie and Kennedy. He’d also be picking up long balls from Shelvey all of which contributes to pegging Arsenal back into their own last third. Gayle is then rested until the second half and with his mobility he and Perez can run the Arsenal defenders around the pitch and pick up goal scoring opportunities.

  • JohnJ

    Apr 12, 2018 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #3

    lochinvar – That’s a belter alright!

  • lochinvar

    Apr 12, 2018 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #4

    Tammy boy worth £28m – you are having a laugh Ian Wright – are you his agent ?
    Tammy Wynette maybe

    Ian Wright has told BBC Radio Five Live he was “praying” that Newcastle United signed Tammy Abraham last summer and hopes that the Magpies go back for him.

    The 20-year-old Chelsea striker was heavily linked with a move to Newcastle for most of last June, but wound up joining Swansea City on loan.

    Abraham, worth around £28 million according to CIES Football Observatory, hasn’t hit the heights expected of him since firing 23 goals for Bristol City in the Championship last season, only managing five in 26 Premier League outings for the Swans this time around.

  • DubaiMicky

    Apr 12, 2018 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #5

    Re running Toon on a non-profit basis, the price of the club will go up providing we continue to improve. can that be done with Rafa without spending money the club doesn’t generate itself? Of course, if it’s run in a financially astute manner, for example, say they want to buy a player for £10m and he’s on £50k/week, 4 year contract, that’s a value of £20m (more or less), Ashley ring fences all that as a liability, however, what happens if the guy is sold after 2 years for £20m, does that mean Rafa would get £25m (the transfer fee plus the balance of his £2.5/year contract), or just the £20m?

    I think we all know the answer, I’m convinced Ashley is siphoning both directly and indirectly and the money he states he has put in (let’s say £280m) is not what the club “owes” him, as he’s taken millions upon millions out.

    If he sells for £350m and I’m pretty sure that’ll be all profit to him.

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 12, 2018 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #6


    Apr 11, 2018 at 9:00 PM

    Comment #60
    What a stunning second goal from Wolves. Incredible technique. Words won’t do it justice so I won’t bother. Just watch and enjoy.

    Loch, this is what I posted last night during the game. Cheers for linking it. Wonderful goal.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Apr 12, 2018 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #7

    On Abraham Rafa wanted him and when you see him play there is something there ! He can hold the ball up well and has clever movement , with good pace !

    Kennedy wasn’t exactly doing stellar for Watford on loan and playing for Chelsea he looked well below the level that he is turning out for us !

    Chelsea seem to have youngsters who take a loan or two before properly blossoming so he could be the next one off the conveyor belt

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 12, 2018 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #8

    Loch, I posted the other day I wouldn’t touch Tammy Tap-in with a bargepole. He only scores one type of goal – as the nickname suggests.
    £28m is risible. Seems now the southern press has us earmarked as Chelsea’s development team. I don’t give a toss what Ian Wright wants. Why should we pay for the privilege of making their players more valuable? Stuff that lark. Rafa’s coaching has only succeeded in pricing us out of the chance of buying Kennedy by the looks of it.

  • ArtyH

    Apr 12, 2018 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #9

    Just cannot see him worth £20 or there abouts at his age, especially with an injury record like he has. However if Rafa fancies him who would argue…..

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 12, 2018 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #10

    He had the chance of coming here and expected us to jump through hoops for the honour of signing him. Instead he went to Swansea and has scored five of six simple tap ins. Not that much better than what Joselu has done for us.
    We should concentrate more on developing our own players, like Arma, Longstaff, Fernández etc. All these players have the potential to make it and eventually become valuable assets.

  • ronaldo aarons

    Apr 12, 2018 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #12

    Tell chelsea we can improve hazard. We will only take him for a year and he will return a much better player 😉

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Apr 12, 2018 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #13

    Also is there any actually anyone sad enough to go to the Stadium of Light to watch them go down? Why pay money to watch that gash!?

    See they are taking measures to make sure only Sunderland fans get into the next few games ha ha be lucky if they get about 2000 then

  • RobLeenio

    Apr 12, 2018 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #14

    Love that Wolves goal – reminds me of the Tiote strike vs Arsenal. Quality.

  • hibbit

    Apr 12, 2018 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #15

    ronaldo who was naughty boy last night ?????????

  • ronaldo aarons

    Apr 12, 2018 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #16

    Bobbybee. He can’t help himself.

  • ronaldo aarons

    Apr 12, 2018 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #17


    This is a good analysis of dubravka and our keeping situation.

  • ronaldo aarons

    Apr 12, 2018 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #18

    Dubravka is averaging more claiming of crosses per match than others in the league.

    It is surprising actually the defence of yedlin, lascelles, lejuene, dummett have never played together with either elliot or darlow in goal.

  • hibbit

    Apr 12, 2018 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #19


    Dubravka has such a calming effect on the players yet seems to keep them on their toes,
    also when he’s in goal the crowd aren’t so jumpy which seems to calm the whole stadium
    long may it continue

  • G

    Apr 12, 2018 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #20

    If you sit behind either goal at SJP you can hear him shouting constantly at the defence, organising them, and getting them where he wants them. Long time since we had a keeper that marshalled the defence. Pav used to try, but wasn’t great at it. Harper wasn’t vocal enough, Given wasn’t a shouter, Darlow and Elliot are triers. Dubravka is the best we have had at that since Tommy the Barman.

  • Bobbybee

    Apr 12, 2018 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #21

    Spot on there Hibbett. Every time a cross comes in now I just relax, knowing it can be dealt with. Whereas before my toes used to curl up with anxiety! 🙂

  • ronaldo aarons

    Apr 12, 2018 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #22

    Yes please. Imagine if we did end up getting caballero and even reina to an extent. Definitely avoided a bullet with old Wily.

    The defence as a whole is a long way from when Steven Taylor used to set fear and panic amongst the backline and stadium.

  • 9

    Apr 12, 2018 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #23

    Bobby @21 I don’t want to rain on anybody’s parade, but please think about Leicester’s goal before you make comments like that. I totally understand nobody’s perfect, but this was not his finest hour.


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