Islam Slimani, when fit, has dominated the striker’s position in the Algerian national team for the past few years. The fourth highest goal-scorer in the history of Les Verts, he has been a brilliant player for the North Africans.
Helping Algeria reach the last 16 of the World Cup for the first time in their entire history, he has scored some crucial goals, most notably a header against Fabio Capello’s Russia in Brazil.
But now at 29 years of age, Slimani is struggling for game time at club level. And if you’re not in form for your club, you certainly do not deserved to be picked for your country.
And with Slimani set to receive a three game ban that will end his season, it is surely now time for Algeria to start looking elsewhere and give someone else a chance with the number nine shirt.
Baghdad Bounedjah has been scoring for fun in Qatar, and helped Al Sadd reach the Qatari Cup final as well as the next round of the AFC Champions League.
Ishak Belfodil, who currently plays for Werder Bremen, has scored six goals in Germany this season. Idriss Saadi has four goals in Ligue 1 this season for Strasbourg. Nabil Ghilas in Turkey. Even Oussama Darfalou from USM Alger.
Algeria need to make the most of international friendlies and start trying new players in the forward positions. There are players far more deserving of a place up front than Slimani.
With the Africa Cup of Nations just over a year away, Algeria need to start looking ahead to this tournament and prepare properly. There is talent that can improve the national side if you look in the right places.