Newcastle appeared to be signing stop gaps when they brought in three loan men in January in the form of Martin Dubravka, Kenedy and Islam Slimani.

But the former two have instantly impressed, with many fans undoubtedly already keen to tie the pair to permanent long-term contracts.

It is now up to Slimani to make a similar impact and he will hope the opportunity to forge a bond with fans, team-mates and, of course, Rafa Benitez plays into the club’s thinking when it comes to splashing out on a striker in the summer.

There is no doubt that Newcastle will need a new centre forward if they stay in the Premier League this term, but Slimani is not necessarily at the head of the queue right now.

Feyenoord’s Nicolai Jorgensen was the top target in January and he has age on his side over the Algerian, as well as the opportunity to impress at the World Cup with Denmark.

But since Newcastle’s interest in Jorgensen became clear, he has struggled in the Eredivisie, failing to add to his goal tally.

The odds still seem to be stacked again Slimani, with his lofty valuation and age hardly likely to convince Mike Ashley that there is any sell-on value in a deal.

However, should he hit the net consistently between now and the end of the season, Newcastle would be foolish to look anywhere else for a front man come June.

Jorgensen’s poor form has opened the door for Slimani. Now the Leicester City loanee must grasp his chance.

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