Islam Slimani arrived at Leicester City in summer 2016.
The Foxes had just won the Premier League and were now preparing for a Champions League campaign.
Almost £90m was spent after lifting the title and a large chunk of that went on the Algerian striker.
Islam Slimani becoming their record buy at £29m.
Interesting then to see what Leicester fans have had to say about the forward after he came on for Newcastle at the weekend and helped them beat Arsenal.
The vast majority of comments below are from Leicester supporters who rate him, the consensus being that he was simply the wrong player to bring in, when Jamie Vardy is undisputed number one.
Without Champions League football and success in domestic cup competitions, it basically means Leicester have a record club signing with no way of getting into the team, as the perception is that he and Vardy can’t play together.
There are references to his injury record and indeed Newcastle fans have been left frustrated in these past three months of not seeing him start a match.
However, at Leicester, there were 62 Premier League matches before Islam Slimani came to Newcastle on loan, and he was only unavailable for 18 of them, starting 15 Premier League matches for Leicester and named on the bench 29 times.
In all competitions Islam Slimani has scored 13 goals in 23 starts (plus another 23 appearances off the bench).
He turns 30 in June and there appears to be an acceptance amongst Leicester fans that if they can get around half the fee (£15m or so) then best for both club and player that he is sold.
If he can back up the promise of the showing against Arsenal in these remaining five loan games, interesting to see whether Newcastle will make a move to sign him permanently.
Leicester fans comment on Islam Slimani v Arsenal via their top Foxes Talk message board:
‘Looked quality when he came on for Newcastle today.
Should we sell / will he ever want to play for us again?’
‘He is decent, pity a lot of city fans wanted to get rid.’
‘He’s only just got fit but the amount of crosses that went in the box on Saturday [Burnley 2 Leicester 1] I’m sure he would have been of use to us.’
‘The grass is always greener on the other side, ain’t it?
He doesn’t fit here and we obviously have a locker room problem and inflated egos.
3 managers and it’s the same thing. starting high and sinking low.’
‘Islam Slimani doesn’t suit us, which we all saw coming when we signed a number 9 after a season where our most important player and number 9 scored 24 league goals.
Very good option but I’d imagine he wants to leave to start games.’
‘One game good, the other truly shocking. Donkey, get rid.’
‘The problem he has is that Slimani doesn’t run about like Okazaki.
If he did he would be a fans favourite. Looked decent on the MOTD highlights.’
‘That’s cause he’s never had a consistent run of games,
Granted injuries haven’t helped but then again the lack of match fitness is probably to blame for the injuries.’
‘I have only ever seen him play for us.
He seemed lumbering and pretty limited with the ball at his feet.
He didn’t get a good run in the side, no, but I was never particularly impressed with what I saw. Good in the air.
In total honesty I preferred Ulloa. I thought Leo offered us more despite not having the same strengths as Slim.’
Too good to spend his time on the bench and we don’t seem to know how to play an alternative to Vardy.
Pretty sure he doesn’t want to come back anyway.’
‘Pretty sure he doesn’t feature in Puel’s plans either!
We talk plan a and plan b etc, well I reckon Puel would start thinking about Slimani at around about plan k!’
‘Always made an impact when starting in games.’
‘Would be a very useful option when we’re chasing games and getting the ball in the box, but I’d imagine he wants to start regularly and certainly doesn’t suit our current style (although not many of our players do).’
‘Don’t bother with that any of the thick skulls too blind or biased to see that Islam Slimani has always made a difference when either starting or given a decent game time.’
‘He did play very well yesterday for Newcastle when he came on, however as long as Vardy is our main striker he simply won’t fit in with our style of play, so I would sell.’
‘No one will displace Vardy so that’s that.’
‘Good player but he’ll want to move on.
We’ll sell him and Ulloa and continue crossing the ball for small players then wonder why we can’t score.’
‘I’m one of few that didn’t want him but now likes him tbh, most people seemed to go the other way.
Maybe it’s about expectation, lot of people got hyped and were disappointed. I was expecting an absolute donkey and was pleasantly surprised.
He’s just not a “target man” which is what people thought they were getting. Some Andy Carroll type to win flick ons because apparently its still 1995 and that’s still what we want in the team.
I’d have him back if we were going to use him but we’re probably not, so move him on.’
‘When he plays he looks ok, it’s just getting him on the field, can’t afford to be carrying a sick note all season.’
‘I don’t think we even know what to do with him.
Yet another in the long list of transfer failures.’
‘Since we let Slimani and Leo go on loan, we have started playing more in wider areas and sticking a load of crosses in.
Sometimes this club baffles me.
Loan out any aerial threat then spend the next ten games sticking high balls in the box with nobody to attack them.
When they went out on loan we were playing nice passing football and cutting through teams with our passing and movement. Since then our philosophy has been slow build up often resulting in floaty cross for Vardy against 2 big centre backs.’
‘He’s a mystery is our Slim.
Great impact at times. Early goals against Burnley and Porto come to mind.
Then in Shaky’s early days in charge a frustrating evening against Sunderland changed after an hour when he and Albrighton came on and combined to break the deadlock. A lot of injuries over the two seasons he’s been in England, and some games (Fleetwood away springs to mind) appalling.
He has some excellent attributes, and I would be happy enough if stays.
However he is 30 in June, and with two years left on his contract, if we can find someone willing to pay £15 million I would take it.’
‘Wrong profile to have as a back-up striker… player in his prime who’s only gonna go down in value if he isn’t playing.
Best to stick with Vardy and Iheanacho and hopefully some youngsters who can be patient as Vardy isn’t getting out this team any time soon.
If we had the europa league next year I’d keep him though tbh.’
‘Hope he puts in a few more decent performances from now until the end of the season. Might help us retrieve some of the hefty fee we paid for him.
Our recruitment was diabolical after winning the league.’
‘Looks at home in that Newcastle side already.
Slimani and Vardy was never going to work.’