Islam Slimani on loan is a fantastic signing for Newcastle United, in their bid to achieve Premier League survival. The Magpies are effectively getting a £30million player in their ranks on loan, so it is a brilliant piece of business for manager Rafa Benitez.
The Algerian is undoubtedly one of the best headers of the ball in world football. He can generate so much power from anywhere inside the penalty area to generate pace on the ball that makes his headers so unstoppable for goalkeepers.
His goal record in Portugal was fantastic, and only injuries prevented him from having a consistent lengthy run in the Leicester team with seven Premier League goals during the 2015/16 campaign in just 23 appearances.
Newcastle have really struggled to score goals this season, but with the likes of Matt Ritchie in the team who has a fantastic delivery from wide positions, this will really play to Slimani’s strengths as he built up a similar partnership with Marc Albrighton at Leicester.
The signing of the 29-year-old will also give Newcastle a focal point up front, which is something that they have lacked all season. The likes of Mitrovic, Gayle and Joselu are not at the level of experience that Slimani has.
He can hold the ball up and bring other players into play, which is different to the majority of Newcastle’s play this season where they have tried to utilise pace on the counter attack.
A strong, old-fashioned centre-forward like Slimani will be good for the fans too, with his brilliant work rate closing down every ball. Benitez said that he has “analysed” Slimani, and hopefully we can see him staying fit, and playing regularly in the Premier League.