Just as things looked to be going right again at Newcastle, an injury to Islam Slimani darkens the mood once again.
It seemed as though the Algerian was being lined up for his Magpies debut against Bournemouth this weekend, as Rafa Benitez’s side looked to pick up where they left off following their mega 1-0 victory over Manchester United almost a fortnight ago.
However, Benitez revealed in his press conference that his new striker has suffered another injury setback and could be missing for another two weeks, delaying his Newcastle debut even further.
If the 29-year-old returns in exactly two weeks before the Magpies welcome Southampton to St James’ Park, then Slimani could play his part in a maximum of eight games for the club, making every minute he plays pivotal.
Slimani was brought in to score the goals Newcastle need to stay in the Premier League, but so far he has not had the chance to do so due to injury.
Manager Benitez wanted a striker throughout the January transfer window, but had to wait until the final day to get an injured forward who already would play a limited role in black and white.
The striker’s role will now be limited even further, exposing Newcastle’s transfer failures once again. Had they acted earlier in the window, they would not be in the position they find themselves in right now, as they sweat on the fitness of a man who has never actually played a minute of football for the club.
Mike Ashley’s unwillingness to add to Benitez’s squad was him dicing with death, but the arrival of Slimani at least gave him a momentary lifeline.
That lifeline has now been cut short, and Newcastle’s failures in January are clear for all to see as the pressure remains on Benitez and his current crop of players to get the job done and keep them in the Premier League.
Good job Joselu and Dwight Gayle have been so great in front of goal this season…oh wait.