Islam Slimani started the game at Everton last Monday night but was replaced yesterday in the starting line-up by Dwight Gayle.
That wasn’t a good sign that Rafa will want to buy the 29 year-old Algerian for £21M this summer and Slimani now also faces a three-match ban.
Substitute Slimani was part of an incident very late in the game with West Bromwich center-back Craig Dawson, and it’s likely on review he will be given a three-match ban, and there are only three games left this season.
Islam Slimani – likely to get a three-match ban
Slimani lost his cool and lashed out to kick the legs of Craig Dawson and that incident seemed to be missed by the match officials.
It’s almost certain that on video review Slimani will be accused of dangerous play and get a three-match ban.
There seems little chance after an injury-interrupted time at Newcastle when he made one start, and three sub appearances that he has done anywhere near enough to have Rafa bring him in permanently this summer.
Slimani did give us something different up front, but he seems to have lost his chance.
While we expect Rafa to bring in two strikers this summer, we’d be shocked if Islam Slimani is one of them.
And since our only home match remaining is against Chelsea in two weeks time our young Brazilian Kenedy is not eligible to play in that game.
Yesterday could be the last time fans see Kenedy in a black and white shirt at St. James’ Park.
But we hope not – he’s a lovely lad and a great player in the making.