Islam Slimani was the striker brought in on January transfer deadline day to score the goals that would help Newcastle United stay in the Premier League.

Rafa kept Newcastle up but the loan striker only ended up playing 130 minutes for the club and scored zero goals.

However, despite that, I still think he is almost certainly a better forward than Newcastle could otherwise attract to St James Park this summer.

Yes, he obviously had fitness issues in the time he was at Newcastle but Rafa having to work to such a limited budget, with no buys allowed, ended up with an already injured Islam Slimani signed at the last minute on loan.

His career generally hasn’t seen major injury issues, in three years at Sporting Lisbon the striker made 107 appearances in total.

Bought as Leicester’s record in August 2016 for £28m, Slimani didn’t find injuries a big problem, it was more the presence of Jamie Vardy.

The England international at one point looking as though he would be leaving but staying with the Foxes and in brilliant form, with the two strikers seen as not compatible to be played together, Islam Slimani was left with no route into the team.

The Algerian international might have only started 15 Premier League matches for Leicester in the year and a half before coming to Newcastle, but he was named on the bench another 29 times in PL games.

Reality is that from mid-September 2016 when he made his first league appearance for Leicester and mid-January 2017 when te striker picked up a training injury ahead of that loan move to Tyneside, Slimani was very rarely missing through a knock/injury.

Despite only 15 PL starts at Leicester he still scored eight goals and he scored for fun at Sporting Lisbon, getting 27 in 33 league games in his final season at the Portuguese club.

At Newcastle, he did only play the 130 minutes but the feeble end to his loan spell has clouded many fans’ judgement.

Not saying he is a superstar BUT I do reckon he could/would be a great signing for us.

His debut for Newcastle was as a sub against Huddersfield and coming on with 15 minutes to go, it was looking like a goalless draw in what was billed as a must win game. Five minutes later the game was won, Slimani’s presence in the box unsettling the opposition defence, helping Kenedy to get the space and give Perez a simple finish for the winner.

The next game he couldn’t play against Leicester but coming on with 27 minutes to go against Arsenal, he was excellent, looking clearly better than anything Newcastle have had in the Premier League all season up front.

He caused the Gunners all sorts of problems and the winning margin could have been more, including Sliman setting Kenedy up with a chance that hit the woodwork. However, the winner was completely down to the loan striker in its creation, a brave powerful header put the ball across the edge of the box and via the faintest of touches from Perez, it ended up at Ritchie’s feet and he made no mistake.

Islam Slimani worked hard for the team and that win over the Gunners ensured safety. Next up was Everton away and that latest sub display earned the striker a start.

Nobody played well at Goodison Park, the team seemingly dropping their levels with safety now assured. However, Islam Slimani did relatively ok and should indeed have got his first goal at NUFC, Perez somehow failing to pick the striker out when an easy 10 yard ball would have left Slimani with an easy finish.

Next up after that 1-0 defeat to Everton was West Brom at home. Islam Slimani came on after 65 minutes with the Baggies one up and playing well in their late rush of form to the season, whilst Newcastle were once again flat.

His only real contribution was a petulant kick out at a West Brom defender that later got him a retrospective ban that ruled him out of the three final Newcastle games of the season.

However, the last reason why anybody should be put off Slimani though is his disciplinary record.

The Algerian striker is normally an easy going character and had never been sent off for club or country before.

Until he was booked for Newcastle against Arsenal, he had picked up only one other yellow card in league football since January 2016. His overall record showing he averages no more than three or four bookings per season in league football, whichever country he has played in.

Earlier this month Slimani turned 30 but  think in today’s market, Newcastle getting him for maybe around the £15m mark could prove a bargain and a far better striker than Rafa could otherwise attract.

Even if Mike Ashley allows a half-decent fee to spend on a centre-forward, what can you get for £15m-£20m?

To get a striker who looks capable/likely to score a decent amount of goals, you have to take a chance somewhere.

Either an older striker such as Islam Slimani.

Or one who has had significant injury problems, such as Daniel Sturridge.

Alternatively, a younger player, almost certainly from a weaker overseas league or the Championship, where there is no guarantees they can step up.

Likewise relying on a loan striker, just because we hit so lucky with loan signings such as Dubravka and Kenedy, bringing in Tammy Abraham or similar on loan has its concerns as well.

We might not have seen a lot of Islam Slimani but I liked a lot of what I did see.

I would be more than happy/relieved if he proved to be one of Rafa’s signings this summer.

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  • Paul Patterson

    Then we’re f****d..

  • TheNutJob

    forget Slim, Big Andy`s coming home for £9m

    • Paul Patterson

      Rather have Peter Crouch for a season..

      • TheNutJob

        Big Andy`s better than Crouchy

        • Paul Patterson

          Crouch will play more..

        • Would take Andy any day of the week if he’s willing to take a pay cut to 50-60 a week. Would give us quite the dimension if somebody from our team could cross :D

  • Sickandtired

    Liked what you saw? FFS man! Signed when injured, only 4 appearances and a sending off.

  • Dic

    Dale your articles are always pointless but this one even more so Islam played well in the pub leagues abroad he came to Leicester failed he came to us failed. But hey he was okay against lower league teams in the cup

    Useless idiot who should go back to pub football

    You should stick with your day job

  • Toonster

    Looked bang average to me. When I saw the headline “Newcastle United won’t sign a better striker than Islam Slimani” I expected it to be followed by, “says agent of Islam Slimani”.

    • TheNutJob

      Or Penfold

  • gallowgate26

    Far too expensive/injury prone, so everything else is just moot points/theory.

  • Alex

    Oh dear……..

  • Proppaboots

    Someone’s been on the sherry…….

  • Leazes.

    Click-bait article… Dale Thompson…(thats should really be Dene Thomson, your parents obviously had no sense of place unless you were conceived in Yorkshire :)

    Okay then……

    Slimani ……He’s an expensive Mitrovic clone and we need to step up from that level you clot!

  • Peter Robson

    We´ve got a homegrown striker who has been scoring goals for fun at every level except Premier League. He´s been a star for England at every level Except full international. He´s been praised by every coach/manager he´s played for and has been the outstanding player at Under 21´s world cup.
    Jamie Vardy was plying his trade in a much lower level and made the breakthrough and we all know how that turned out. We´re constantly linked with three legged donkeys for strikers and end up with the likes of a crock (Slimani) a poor (being generous) striker in Joselu, and a player who seems to be having confidence issues.

    I love what Rafa has done for our club and restoring pride with us fans has earned him a place in our hearts, but I think he´s making a big mistake.
    We can blame the lack of financial backing for a lot of things, but all things considered,it was a mistake to let Murphy go. I bet he would have done a better job than every single one of our current crop of “strikers”.
    If prices are an issue then please Rafa show a bit of courage, man up and give Adam Armstrong a “fair” crack of the whip.
    What have you got to lose ?

    • Paul Patterson

      Armstrong could be brought through gently via the bench next season in place of Joselu, but to use him as our main goal threat would be madness. For that, serious money is required.

      • Wezza147

        I totally agree! Give him a chance! He will be like a new signing!

        • Dillon Tovak


      • Peter Robson

        I said give him a chance, not put the expectations of the whole Geordie nation on his shoulders.

        • Paul Patterson

          From the bench, while we’re winning?

      • Will not work with him. He needs to be told he is the main man and he needs to get the goals and he can do it. Watched the Toulon and he put a lot of England future starts to shame, by far the best England player on the pitch!

        • Paul Patterson

          So you want him to be the main man?

    • mentalman

      I dont think he scored goals for fun in the championship

    • Armstrong deserves a chance, and every fan knows it. It would be a gamble, but it could work. Arma is a player who doesn’t do easing in with bench subs, he needs to start and to play week and week out.
      I would sell Gayle in a heartbeat and try Arma, at the very least, he’s much better with the ball than Gayle and can provide assists. He can easily provide competition for Perez as a n. 10 too.
      I hope he is given a run in the friendlies at least.

  • TheNutJob

    chances are Mitro will still be here, nobody will pay £20m for him & nobody will pay
    the Fat Gringo £400m for the club

  • Peaky

    Ffs man if we’re going into next season with both Gayle & Hoss we are well and truly doomed…

    • TheNutJob

      you forgot Mitro Peaky

      • Peaky

        If Mitro stays it can mean only one thing….Rafa’s off.
        Easily know who I would rather have…

        • TheNutJob

          Fatty`s asking to much for all the players up for grabs

          • Peaky

            Yup,but he won’t pay out himself….he’s a fuc*ing hypocrite on top of everything else…..

    • paul mclaughlan

      The Hoss might come good. 😂

  • robbersdog

    He’s 30 years old, probably on a massive salary that we’d have to match and has only scored 8 goals in 39 Premier League appearances. He’s not the answer to our troublesome No.9 problem.

    • TheNutJob

      the answer is a proven striker but that won`t be happening anytime soon

    • Leazes.

      £80k per week that’s £20k more than Mitrovic.

      Joselu’s on £40k

      spotra dot com

  • Peaky

    “Newcastle United won’t sign a better striker than Islam Slimani”………also….Newcastle United won’t sign a worse striker than Jose Luis Mayo Sanmartin…..aka the one and only Hoss…..

    • Leazes.

      Don’t bet on it…. we have scouts!

    • 1957

      We’re linked with the injury prone, players who have never reached double figures for goals in a season or are young in lower quality leagues around Europe… we might still find someone worse than the Hoss

      • TheNutJob

        if anyone can it`s our scouts

        • Leazes.

          I just said that….do you think I’m the voice in yer heed or summat?

  • Peaky

    Ok ok enough is enough…..can someone please tell Patrice Evra he’s not Cuba Gooding Jnr…..he’s doing my bloody head in…..

    • Paul Patterson

      Slouches like a p***k and his treatment of Aluko was disgraceful . .

      • Geordiegiants

        He looks like he is driving a car around London.

  • TheNutJob

    looked oot me front door this morning there was a heed sticking up from a trench
    i said are you from the gas board, he said no me parachute didn`t open


  • HarryHype59

    I thought he was unimpressive during his loan and would sooner keep Mitro.

  • Sadly, most don’t agree but Slimani was different class to what we had upfront.
    He was what we thought Mitro could be, but our Mitro lacks technical and tactical abilities Slimani has. Sure, he didn’t score a goal but he always looked a threat when on. Mitro will probably never be this good with the ball and have Slimani’s touch. We are badly lacking not one but 2 quality strikers. Reality is that we can only sign one perhaps. I fear next season with Gayle and Joselu again. One without aerial and technical ability to play in the Prem and the other without confidence (yes, Joselu is better than Gayle but lacks confidence).
    We need to bolster our attacking options on the left, in the midfield and up top.
    This is top priority in the summer. Don’t care how we do it, we need to be able to score 50 goals in the Prem next season.

    • Wezza147

      I agree his quality was there to see. I remember the Huddersfield home game when he cleverly dragged two defenders toward him allowing Perez to score. I’d take him but no chance of MA paying the asking price. Not a chance. Just cast offs and loans is all we will get to barely scrape survival and for MA to get his hands on another 100M+ tv money.

  • Mxpx

    Slimani is the same player were desperate to get rid of in mitrovic but not as good and more expensive why on earth would we want to sign him he doesn’t fit our system that we don’t alter to accommodate a better player we need a better version of Dwight gayle not a worse version of mitrovic


    Unless we can find a better strker for approx 5 Mil, if we can then Rafa can blow his whole transfer budget on him.

  • Geordiegiants

    I’m afraid he is right, anyone seriously trying to say that Mitro is as good or even close to being as good as Slimani really are deluded.
    Slimani had a bad injury, but still looked different class to anything we have had for years when he did get on.

    • Wor Lass

      The issue isn`t so much whether Slimani`s better than Mitro but whether Mitro`s better than Joselu.

      • Geordiegiants

        Not much between them in my opinion, Mitro is shading it confidence wise due to playing in the championship, and second rate international games. Let’s see what he does in the World Cup.

        • Mike Adam

          Not much except goals.

        • Mike Adam

          And another!!!!!!!!!!

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      I agree but the Everton game showed how unfit he was. He also needs pace alongside him, much like Mitro!

      If he could be got for £12m, he’s a great buy.

    • Mike Adam

      Not only is Mitro better, he is much younger and right now looks more fit than he has ever been. And since I am so deluded, looks like Slimani has a discipline problem and cannot be trusted. Isn’t that what the Mitro haters would say about Mitro if he did what Slimani did. “Slimani had a bad injury”, yeah that thigh muscle strain, old players take a long time to recover from those “bad injuries”. One thing that we can all count on is for you to be on here bad mouthing Mitro every chance you get.
      You can have Slimani and Joselu, I will take Mitro every time over either. If that makes me deluded, then so be it! I believe next season will tell us all a lot about how good those three players are and will be.

    • Mike Adam

      Didn’t take long!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dillon Tovak

    We certainly won’t sign a striker anywhere near as good as Slimani, not that I rate him particularly highly.
    We’ll more than likely not sign any strikers, so….

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      I bet you £20 we sign a striker

      • Geordieguy

        I’ll take that bet and a further twenty that he doesn’t get into double figures league and cups combined

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          I’ve a decent idea of who Rafa is after, he would not be my choice so I’m afraid I’ll pass on the 2nd bet.

    • Geordieguy

      Yes the headline was 100 percent correct whichever way you look at it

  • Philippines

    We can watch Mitro on telly in about 40 minutes from now.