Rafael Benitez says Newcastle United striker Islam Slimani needs time......but does he have it?
Rafael Benitez has told The Shields Gazette that it'll take some time for striker Islam Slimani to adapt to Newcastle United's style of play.
The Algerian earned a first start for Newcastle in Monday's 1-0 defeat at Everton, after an injury-hit first few months to his half-season loan on Tyneside.
Slimani, a £29 million signing by Leicester City in 2016, struggled at Goodison Park and never really looked like a goal threat for the Magpies.
Although Benitez said he was happy with the striker's effort, the United boss did admit that fans would have to be patient before seeing the very best of him.
He told The Shields Gazette: "Islam worked hard. The understanding between him and the rest of the team will take some time. In terms of effort, I was happy with him."
Does he have the time?
Newcastle only have four Premier League games left this season, which means that Slimani only has four games left in which to convince Benitez - and owner Mike Ashley - that he is worth the fee of a permanent transfer.
It isn't much time at all and it seems entirely possible that Slimani could return to Leicester without ever leaving a mark on fans of the North-East club.