With him looking set to make his NUFC debut against Mourinho’s Manchester Untied on Sunday, I’ve been taking a closer look at Leicester City loanee Islam Slimani and have found some interesting stats on the striker.
One striking statistic that I picked up on was the amount of goals he scored with his head. Five of his 8 goals in his debut season with Leicester (back when he played slightly more regularly) came from crosses, with an incredible 24 of his 57 goals at Lisbon coming from headers also.
Looking at the clips below, you can see how good the delivery into him was from the likes of Riyad Mahrez – which is a worry given we don’t have a player on his level out wide, although Kenedy’s shown already that he knows how to whip a cross in.
Whilst it shows how dominant he is in the box if you give him the right service, this really does make is hugely important that the likes of Matt Ritchie, Kenedy, Christian Atsu and Jacob Murphy can give him the service he needs. DeAndre Yedlin often gets into good crossing positions but struggles to deliver well, so he’s another who’ll have to improve his delivery if we’re to get the best of out the 6ft 2′ Algerian.
Then you look at his goals below during his incredibly prolific stint at Sporting Lisbon and, again, you can see what good service he got. He has quite a bit to do with most of these crosses and makes good forceful runs to get onto the balls into the box, but it’s so clear to see in both clips that he’ll dispatch more often than not if crosses come into the right areas for him.
It’s worth mentioning that he does have much more to his game than just aerial presence.
He works hard, is quicker than most give him credit for and is a powerful striker who seems to make strong runs in the box, however it is clear to me that putting good deliveries into the box could be key if we want to get the best out of him.