Rafa Benitez has confirmed that on-loan striker Islam Slimani will not play any part in the game against Royal Antwerp on Sunday.
It was hoped that he might be able to play a bit-part role in the game as he continues his rehab, but that’s not the case.
His words were reported by Lee Ryder of the Chronicle from their training camp in Spain.
Rafa on Slimani: “He was not training with the team so he will not be part of the team tomorrow.” #nufc
— Lee Ryder (@lee_ryder) March 17, 2018
And there’s more bad news for Newcastle fans too, as Benitez added that Slimani would still be linking up with international side Algeria next week, despite only having an outside chance of making the Premier League game against Huddersfield in a fortnight.
No Islam Slimani for #nufc tomorrow. His rehab is going well though & he has an outside chance of being available for Huddersfield in a fortnight. He will link up with Algeria next week too
— Chris Waugh (@ChrisDHWaugh) March 17, 2018
Slimani has not played for Newcastle yet since his loan move in January, after arriving in January.
He is reported to be on £80k-a-week at Leicester.
Football Insider verdict:
The Slimani situation gets worse and worse. He hasn’t played for Newcastle yet, he’s said to only have an outside chance of being available for the game at the end of the month, and he’s now hooking up with Algeria. That literally makes no sense and if you’re a Newcastle fan you’d have every reason to be worried about this news. If Benitez has any power he should pull Slimani from the squad and ensure that he can play as many games for his club as possible. If he doesn’t play this season he could go down as the single worst transfer Newcastle have made.
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