Islam Slimani will have to prove himself – Rafael Benitez

Islam Slimani will have to prove himself – Rafael Benitez
Islam Slimani (right) battles for the ball with Sunderland's Lamine Kone (left) during the Premier League match at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland.

by Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Mar 27, 2018. 17:00

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez says Algerian striker Islam Slimani will not simply walk into the starting XI once he is fit, he will first have to prove himself.

Slimani has yet to feature for United since his loan move from Leicester City in the January transfer window due to injury, but there is hope that he could make his debut in their Premier League clash with Huddersfield this weekend.

"He's fine, he's doing well," Benitez replied when asked how Slimani's arrival has affected Dwight Gayle.

“Joselu has not been playing too much at the moment, but whenever he is on the bench he is positive too.

“Joselu plays 10 or 15 minutes at the end of games, he is giving us control and something different.

“The competition now is quite good. And Islam Slimani, when he comes back to fitness, will have to compete with them."

He added: “He has confidence in himself, which is positive, but he has to show us this in the training sessions and with his country, then we will see what happens against Huddersfield."

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