Newcastle secured 2 loan signings on Wednesday’s winter transfer deadline, with Sparta Prague goalkeeper Martin Dubravka and Leicester City striker Islam Slimani joining Chelsea left-back Kenedy, completing a good business done by the Toons in the mid-season window.
With Newcastle just a point off the relegation zone after 25 games, manager Rafa Benitez will hope the recruitments help boost his side’s chances of retaining their Premier League status at the end of the season.
Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson is of the opinion that Slimani, and not Kenedy, will play the biggest role in ensuring the Tyneside outfit don’t return to the Championship due to the goals he would bring.
In his words while grading Newcastle B for their transfer activities: “Kenedy alone isn’t going to keep you up.
“I’m not being horrible but he won’t, so I’m glad they did a bit of late business on Deadline Day by getting Slimani. They needed a forward because they’re not scoring enough goals and someone like him might reignite them.”
The 29-year-old managed just a goal and assist in 12 league games, of which 2 were starts.
Slimani scored just 7 goals in 23 league appearances last term, but wasn’t afforded much playing minutes either.
However, the Algerian’s impressive return of 27 league goals in 33 league games for Sporting Lisbon 2 seasons ago suggests he could bang in the much-needed season-saving goals for the Magpies if afforded the chance and time.