With a lack of talent up top, Newcastle United can’t pinch pennies in the Islam Slimani sweepstakes.
The striker position is a glaring area of weakness for Newcastle United. Joselu has been a non-factor and Dwight Gayle hasn’t been consistent enough to give the Magpies a boost in scoring. Aleksandar Mitrovic is out of the rotation and recently expressed interest in leaving this month. It will be important for Rafa Benitez and the club to bring in a new target man to help the club avoid relegation. Islam Slimani is one of the top names on the list of options and there are reportedly multiple teams vying to add him.
Newcastle United cannot afford to lose out on Slimani, if he is their man. According to reports, Watford, Everton, and clubs outside of England will target the Algerian striker. Newcastle doesn’t have the luxury of going through another January transfer window without adding a major attacking talent. They lost out on Andre Gray to Watford in the summer and couldn’t get any business done at all last January.
While nobody is quite sure of how much money Rafa will have to spend this window, the manager and the powers that be at Newcastle United must not pinch pennies when it comes to adding a striker. When you are stingy with funds and try to get a bargain on a new center forward, you rarely see positive results. A perfect example is Newcastle’s very own Joselu. He had a poor history of scoring, but he was affordable and the club hoped he could produce. He hasn’t scored many goals since joining the Magpies and rarely plays the full 90 minutes.
If they believe Islam Slimani can come in and score consistently, which the 29 year old has over his career, they must be willing to spend. His 27 goals in the 2015-16 season with Sporting CP are more than Joselu’s total from 2014 to present. The price may be higher than they would like because of the demand for his services, but that’s the cost of doing business of today’s soccer world. Whether it’s Mike Ashley or the new ownership group paying the fee, they can look at it as an investment in the club avoiding relegation. We will find out over coming weeks what the market truly is, but Newcastle United must be willing to spend some money and add Islam Slimani this month.