After being missing from the squad entirely in yesterday’s 1-0 win over Man Utd, it has been revealed that Islam Slimani was ‘close’ to being involved but Benitez didn’t want to risk him – with the Chronicle confirming he’ll be available for the game at Bournemouth in 2 weeks if he suffers no setbacks in training.
Funnily enough, I had a good feeling about yesterday’s game, but a lot of that was centred around the prospect of Islam Slimani making his debut.
After he took part in full training sessions last week (having seemingly recovered from a thigh injury), all the noises were that he’d be making his first NUFC appearance on Sunday. I was hoping he would, with his presence up top likely to give everyone inside St James’ Park a real boost – but it turns out we didn’t need him in the end!
Whilst it was a concern to see him miss out, meaning he’s been unable to play in the last two games since signing, it sounds like he’ll be fine for the trip to Bournemouth in two weeks.
Slimani was close to playing today. #nufc didn’t want to risk him says Rafa. Will be ready for AFC Bournemouth providing no setbacks in training.
— Lee Ryder (@lee_ryder) February 11, 2018
We’ll be heading into that one with our tails up as it is, but if Slimani can have anywhere near the impact Kenedy and Dubravka have had so far, then he’ll be sure to give us a lift at Bournemouth – a huge game for us in our bid to kick on after yesterday’s huge win.