Newcastle United supporters are unhappy at Rafa Benitez’ decision to bring in Islam Slimani on loan during the January transfer window.
The Algerian is yet to feature for the Magpies since his temporary switch and with just 27 goals scored all season, the club are in need of a player who is capable of putting the goals away.
But ahead of the side’s visit of Southampton to St James’ Park, the Spanish boss stopped short of confirming a return for the 29-year-old but did say that Slimani could possibly feature against Huddersfield at the end of the month.
As quoted in the Newcastle Chronicle, Benitez said of the forward: “We don’t want to say that Huddersfield is the game for him, but in terms of time, maybe he will be okay for this game.”
And it was the “maybe” that caught the attention of the Magpies faithful who felt that the lack of certainty from their manager deemed the loan move pointless.
One fan said that the club should ‘Send him back now,’ and another referred to Aleksandar Mitrovic’ goal frenzy at Fulham, ‘At least Mitro isn’t banging the goals in, ooooo wait.’
Benitez and co. are desperate for points and goals right now with just two points separating them from a potential drop to the Championship.
The Tyneside outfit is feeling the heat as are the fans, and this transfer decision could be one that backfires – how the player passed a fitness test in the first place is anyone’s guessing.
Here is a selection of Twitter responses from the manager’s non-commital news on Slimani:
Becoming abit of a joke the whole slimani signing. Signing an injured striker on loan that we were desperate for has back fired massively.
— Garry James (@GJV_85) March 9, 2018
send him back now, that way we know what we have to work with, instead of is he isn't he. ffs
— eric hewitt (@eric1968x) March 9, 2018
— Mark Redpath (@mcredpath1) March 9, 2018
He'll not play a game for us
— Mark Redpath (@reds32ape) March 10, 2018
May as well just send him back. Huddersfield is a month away… What's the point
— Raj Bithal (@Biffarinho) March 9, 2018
Looking like a poor bit of business at the moment, just hope it doesn’t come back to haunt us.
— Ollie (@ollie_wilson97) March 9, 2018
Least mitro isn’t banging them on, ooooo wait ????
— markcurry (@markcurry26) March 9, 2018
if he doesn’t play for us do we get our money back?
— artery graph (@arterygraph) March 10, 2018
In other Newcastle United news, ‘We have to be careful’ – Benitez confirms shock injury news v Southampton.