Benitez must hold hands up to catastrophic Newcastle error after season-ending bombshell
Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez has not done a lot wrong this season.
In fact, when you think about the financial constraints holding him down, he has performed miracles with a distinctly average team.
However, if he has made one mistake that could have ended in disaster, it is that of January transfer signing Islam Slimani.
The striker was brought in on loan from Leicester City in a bid to improve the Magpies forwards’ inability to find the back of the net, and after finally making his long-awaited debut at the end of March in the win against Huddersfield there were expectations that the 29-year-old Algerian international would march on from there.
However, it has not worked out like that and not only has he failed to register since his loan move to St James’, the Foxes forward has landed himself in trouble with the Football Association, who have charged the player with misconduct following an incident with West Brom defender Craig Dawson at the weekend.
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It is a charge that if the forward is found guilty, would see him hit with a three-match suspension, thus ending the player’s season.
But questions need to be asked about why he was even brought into the club in the first place.
It was known prior to Slimani’s arrival that he was injured and with the club in dire need of a goalscorer to aid Joselu, Dwight Gayle and Ayoze Perez, he has not exactly been much assistance in his four outings.
As luck would have it, Kenedy has been a revelation and created the mesh which makes the side tick where before there was no tock.
Without the Brazilian, the Magpies could have been in a wholly different position to tenth in the table.
Nonetheless, it was a shocking error by Rafa, but he seems to have gotten away with it.
In other Newcastle United news, Newcastle senior figures jet out on transfer missions as bargain swoops lined up.