'Not convinced' - BBC pundit delivers damning verdict on Newcastle's proposed saviour
Former Liverpool star and current BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson has said he does not expect Newcastle United’s January signing Islam Slimani will score the goals to save them from relegation this season.
The Magpies secured the services of the Algerian international from Leicester City in a deadline day deal at the end of the winter window, the 29-year-old linking up with the north east club until the end of the season.
However he is yet to make his debut for manager Rafael Benitez’s side after joining with a thigh injury picked up while with the Foxes, and has been completely absent from the match day squads for the club’s last two games.
Now with two weeks to recover from the 1-0 win over Manchester United, the Spanish boss will be hoping his additional firepower, brought in to add more goals to a misfiring front line, who have scored just 25 goals in 27 top flight outings, and help save the club from relegation, but Lawrenson does not think that it will go that way.
He delivered his damning verdict to the Northern Echo, stating: “I really don’t see goals in Newcastle.
“For the promoted teams, it’s always about getting enough goals to win games.
“Goals make the difference in staying in the division and getting relegated and I just look at Newcastle and kind of go, ‘am I convinced Slimani will get loads of goals for Newcastle?’ No I’m not convinced at all.”
During his time at Leicester, Slimani has scored 13 goals in 46 appearances, with eight of those coming in 35 Premier League outings.
This season has seen him turn out 17 times across all competitions, seven coming as starts, and he has managed to net five goals.
In other Newcastle United news, the club are set to reignite a swoop for an international speed machine after a failed January bid.