COMMENT

While at the time, Newcastle United fans might not have been too impressed with the business the club conducted in the January window, the moves have made a massive difference.

The Magpies were expected to strengthen heavily after a disappointing first half of the season which had left them in a relegation battle, but instead of splashing the cash they brought in just three loan signings, two of which came on deadline day.

A Chelsea outcast, a goalkeeper from the Czech top flight and a striker with just one goal in 12 games this season hardly seemed to be what the club desperately needed, but how they have proven the doubters wrong.

Kenedy has been a crucial part of Newcastle’s resurgence, his energy and attacking intent has driven the Magpies forward, while Martin Dubravka has been a revelation between the sticks with his assured displays.

Of the trio, it was only Islam Slimani who failed to reach expectations, with injury plaguing his time on Tyneside, and it seemed his Newcastle career was over after being banned for the final games of the season.

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However, are the club about to shock everyone and hand him a massive reprieve after his season-ending bombshell?

Well, the Chronicle journalist Chris Waugh has revealed on his personal Twitter account that the Algerian is set to remain with the club despite not being available, and it would have been expected that he would return to Leicester after his indiscretions.

It makes no sense for him to remain if there was no future for him at the club, and it seems as though manager Rafael Benitez is still pondering whether a permanent move is a worthwhile decision.

After four appearances, one coming as a start, the Magpies making a swoop would be a truly stunning move – and with things as they stand and Slimani still among the senior setup, they may well shock us all.

In other Newcastle United transfer news, the club must smash title winners aside for a £1.5m steal.

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