Date: 11th February 2018 at 2:40pm
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Newcastle United striker Islam Slimani was completely left out of the squad to take on Manchester United on Sunday after being forced to miss training during the end of the week due to his fitness, according to a report.

The Chronicle claim on their website that the Magpies’ January signing, who arrived at St James’ Park nursing a thigh injury suffered at parent club Leicester City, was absent from the training pitch in the build up to the clash at St James’ Park, instead working in the gym to try and recover fully from his blow in what will be a worry to both manager Rafael Benitez and the fans.

The Algerian international, who arrived on a deadline day deal at the end of the winter window, is with the club until the end of the month but after missing the first two games he has been eligible for, will be able to make a total of just 10 appearances for the club in their last 11 games, finding himself ineligible to take on Leicester when the Magpies travel to the King Power Stadium in April.

His absence meant that boss Benitez continued to start with last season’s top scorer Dwight Gayle up front against the Red Devils, with regular starter Joselu on the bench after also missing last week’s draw against Crystal Palace as a result of illness.

In other Newcastle United news, the Magpies beat off a whole host of sides to secure the capture of one January signing.

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