Newcastle United have enjoyed something that has been a massive rarity at St James’ Park over the years this season – good luck with injuries.
The Magpies have only seen major injuries suffered at two points; firstly on the opening day of the campaign, where Paul Dummett and Florian Lejeune were both forced off against Tottenham, and again a couple of months later, where first team regulars Jamaal Lascelles and Christian Atsu were ruled out of action.
There have been little niggles and knocks throughout the season but nothing like the major issues they usually suffer, and whether that does come down to luck or preparation, only those behind closed doors will know.
Unfortunately for the club, their luck seemed to run out when it came to loan signing Islam Slimani.
Signed from Leicester City with what was adjudged to be a minor thigh injury, it turned out to be a lot more serious than expected, and, with a setback along the way, he has managed to make just two appearances this season, both coming from the bench and totalling just 41 minutes.
Back in and among the action, that must change immediately, starting with Monday night’s clash against Everton.
The Algerian forward deserves to be unleashed and show both the Newcastle faithful, as well as manager Rafael Benitez, what he has to offer up front – especially considering there could be a permanent move at the end of it.
The less time he has on the pitch, the less time Benitez gets to see what he can offer, and with five games left to play before he is set to return to the King Power Stadium, it is make or break to save what could be a long-term career at Newcastle.
In other Newcastle United news, there has been a positive update over potential interest of a takeover.