Benitez offers fitness update on Islam Slimani – finally some good news for frustrated NUFC fans?

The Newcastle United squad have arrived in Spain for their four-day training camp and it has been confirmed that Islam Slimani was on the plane – with the on-loan striker in contention to feature in Sunday’s friendly with Royal Antwerp.

This will come as good news for NUFC fans hoping to see him finally feature in a black and white shirt, however it’s been a frustrating few months since he arrived on Tyneside on deadline day.

Not only has he failed to play a single minute for the club, with a thigh injury holding him back up until now, but fans were left angered by talk that he could play for Algeria in next week’s international break before even kicking a ball for NUFC.

That may still be the case, however it’s a positive sign to see him training with the first-team, suggesting he could be on track to make his debut in our league next outing at home to Huddersfield on March 31st.

Speaking to NUFC TV, Rafa Benitez the following about the striker’s fitness after arriving at their four-day training camp:

“He has a plan. He has to follow the plan.

“He’s working with the fitness coach. He’s improving, but he has to follow the plan.”

It’s yet to be confirmed if he’ll be fit enough to start for our friendly in Sunday, but his presence in Spain has to be seen as a positive thing as he continues to step up his return from this ongoing thigh problem.

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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