Newcastle United striker Islam Slimani will not be risked by Algeria boss Rabah Madjer for his country’s friendly against Tanzania if he is not fully fit in what is a major boost for the Magpies.
The 29-year-old left the club’s Spanish training camp to link up with his national team after being called up for the international break, despite having been sidelined with a groin injury which has kept him from making his debut for Newcastle, having joined from Leicester City in the January window.
With fears that he may be risked needlessly, Madjer told the country’s Youtube channel, as transcribed by Algerian publication Competition, that Slimani would not feature unless he was completely fit, promising the Magpies he would look after their new signing.
Meanwhile Competition have stated, after watching on from the sidelines of the training session, that the 55-cap forward was cautious over his performances, and was not over exerting himself, which will leave Rafael Benitez happy that both player and country are managing his situation.
Football Insider verdict
Newcastle will want Slimani back in one piece as they wait anxiously for him to make his debut, and it sounds as though he is being well monitored while on international duty. While the friendly against Tanzania might come too soon, there is another exhibition match against Iran days later, and with a lack of game time under his belt, he could well do with returning to action for his country before trying to make an appearance for Newcastle. Every game that passes without Slimani’s involvement is another game which makes it look like a waste of money for the Magpies, and both player and club will be keen to rid themselves of that cloud hanging over the deal.
In other Newcastle United news, the club must break the hearts of their rivals by snapping up a £20million maestro.