Newcastle's goal scoring woes are set to be solved by unlikeliest of heroes
Newcastle United have been screaming out for a proven goalscorer this season and it appears as though Islam Slimani is the man to come to their rescue.
The Algerian joined from Leicester City on a loan until the end of the season and although he missed the first game of his time on Tyneside through injury, he looks set to be shoehorned straight into the starting XI.
However, while there is no doubt he could well have the biggest impact on the surface if he nets the goals needed, it is the other end of the pitch where the real saviour in the hunt for Premier League safety could be.
Slimani was joined by Sparat Prague goalkeeper Martin Dubravka in joining on deadline day in what was the most underwhelming of the three January signings, but his impact could be the greatest in terms of how the team changes.
Manager Rafael Benitez has been seeking a new goalkeeper since the summer, despite having plenty of options at his disposal already, suggesting he was looking for something specific in his man between the sticks.
Dubravka is known to be a talented goalkeeper with both his hands and feet, and it could be his ability as a ball playing goalkeeper which transforms the Magpies’ fortunes.
At present Newcastle struggle to build from the back, with balls regularly pumped forward in a hope that the striker can start something with a flick on or by holding the ball.
However Dubravka’s improved distribution from the floor may well see the ball moved through the backline and into the midfield, working to retain possession and frustrate opponents.
This in turn would help the club create more attacking opportunities for the strikers and more chances should translate to more goals.
Slimani might be the one banging them in between now and the end of the season, but Dubravka’s contribution down the other end of the pitch could well make him the most unlikeliest of heroes.
In other Newcastle United news, the goalkeeper is one of four expected changes for the clash against Manchester United.