Newcastle United fans should start getting excited about the debut of Islam Slimani after Rafael Benitez’s other two January signings made storming starts to their careers on Tyneside.
The Magpies saw three new faces through the door during the January window, with Leicester City striker Slimani joined by Sparta Prague goalkeeper Martin Dubravka and Chelsea winger Kenedy in signing loan deals until the end of the season.
However, the Algerian striker has been sidelined through a thigh injury suffered while with the Foxes, and he has had to watch from the sidelines as his fellow new arrivals have made an instant impact on Tyneside.
Kenedy was thrown straight into the Newcastle squad and has set up two goals already, with a series of exciting performances which have got the Toon Army off their seats and onto their feet.
Dubravka meanwhile has hardly been eased into the first team at St James’ Park, first being named on the bench against Crystal Palace before being handed his debut at home against Manchester United in something of a baptism of fire.
However, the Slovakian shot stopper rose to the occasion and was a standout performer with a series of impressive saves and an all round confident performance in the surprise 1-0 win.
With Kenedy and Dubravka both making such impressive starts after being hunted by manager Benitez intensely over the January window, fans should be expecting a similar showing from Slimani, especially considering there is now a fortnight’s break between fixtures in which he can fully prepare for action.
No pressure Islam, but Newcastle’s survival might just rest on your shoulders, and expectations are now through the roof.
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