Why I was quietly impressed with Islam Slimani during his NUFC debut on Saturday

Having to wait two months to finally see Islam Slimani kick a ball in black and white must’ve been a kick in the teeth for Rafa Benitez, but I think he would’ve quietly impressed by what he saw from the striker on Saturday.
After signing on January 31st, he eventually made his NUFC debut exactly two months on (March 31st) with a late 15 minute cameo in the 1-0 win over Huddersfield. 
I worried he’d look slow, sluggish and way off the pace, with a recent 25 minute appearance for Algeria being his only outing in over 10 weeks, but I was happy with what I saw from him, and think most of St James’ Park would’ve been too. 
He immediately came looking for the ball, showing from throw ins and any potential balls into feet, however he was also looked willing in the other direction. I saw him busting a gut on several occasions in an attempt to make runs in behind or get into a good area in the six yard box ahead of potential crosses into the box.
He put himself about and contested for everything, putting his head on the line to draw one foul in a dangerous area late on.
I was also impressed by how mobile he looked for a big man.
He’s 6ft 3′ and a big unit known for headed goals and the ability to come alive in the box, but he looked far from slow. He’ll get better as he improves his match fitness, but he didn’t look anywhere near as off the pace as I feared he may after so long out.
It was by no means a spectacular cameo on his debut, but he played a big part in the goal (causing chaos in the box after Atsu’s cross) and looked lively.
He can’t play on Saturday at Leicester (for obvious reasons), but I’m excited to see him against Arsenal a week on Sunday. He may even start if Gayle doesn’t pull his socks up this weekend.

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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.

3 thoughts on “Why I was quietly impressed with Islam Slimani during his NUFC debut on Saturday

  1. I’m a Leicester fan and I really rate him. You noticed his runs in behind and this is why he struggled to hold down a place for us. He’s not a target man despite his height, he plays on the shoulder and unfortunately for him we have Vardy in that position. He’s also been carrying this injury since we signed him.

    His movement in the box is excellent and if you deliver any decent balls you can almost guarantee he’ll be on the end of it and when he does he often scores.

    I hope he gets a run of games because he will score goals and hopefully it will show Puel what he can do because we should be playing him and rotating with Vardy against sides who sit deep.

    Good luck for the rest of the season after us of course.

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  2. TOONSLIMARMY TOON TOON SLIMARMY TOON TOON SLIMARMY TOON TOON SLIMARMY TOONSLIMARMY TOON TOON SLIMARMY I have no worries about this guy not getting goals just for the short time he was on the field you could see his runs off and behind the defender’s has good movement and a good eye for the ball come on toonslimarmy well not for another 2 weeks anyway

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  3. John jem walker mags:
    TOONSLIMARMY TOON TOON SLIMARMYTOON TOON SLIMARMY TOON TOON SLIMARMY TOONSLIMARMY TOON TOON SLIMARMY I have no worries about this guy not getting goals just for the short time he was on the field you could see his runsoff and behind the defender’s has goodmovementand a good eye for the ball come on toonslimarmy well not for another 2 weeks anyway

    i’m fan of liverpool FC, but i like Islam Slimani , he is the one who good skills and potential player in Premier League

      (Quote)

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