According to The Athletic’s Chris Waugh, Steve Bruce was offered the chance to sign former Newcastle United flop Islam Slimani on loan in January.
The Algerian may have offered next to nothing during his forgettable loan stint on Tyneside two years ago, however his recent form in France suggests he still has plenty to offer when fit – something he rarely was during his spell at St James’ Park!
In 18 games for Monaco, the 31-year-old has bagged an impressive 9 goals and 7 assists in Ligue 1, but it seems that wasn’t enough to convince Steve Bruce he was better than his attacking options at the time.
Here’s a snippet from The Atheltic’s piece, which claims both he and Cenk Tosun were offered to us in January, with a deal for Olivier Giroud proving ‘unattainable’:
“Bruce was ridiculed for saying there was not a forward available in January who was better than what Newcastle had already – Everton’s Cenk Tosun and Islam Slimani of Monaco, who had already had one ineffective half-season loan at the club four years ago, were offered.
“Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud proved unattainable – but he will be partly vindicated if they stay up and then make a statement signing this summer.“
Slimani would’ve been nothing more than a stop-gap and his arrival may not have gone down well with fans based on his first spell at the club – not matter how many goals and assists he’s now bagging at Monaco.
That said, Joelinton’s struggles, Gayle’s failure to find the net, Muto’s lack of involvement and Carroll’s injury woes mean any half decent striker could’ve given us a boost in January.
Thankfully we picked up a big win at Southampton last weekend and are edging ever closer to that 40-point mark, but we may need to start finding the back of the net more often now our top stopper and player of the season can’t keep us in the game at the other end, with Dubravka set to miss ‘6-8 weeks’ through injury.
Would you have taken a punt on Slimani until the end of the season – or did Bruce do the right thing?