For a year or two following Palace’s promotion to the Premier League back in 2013, it felt as though we were linked with a move for Algerian striker Islam Slimani in each and every transfer window and now, it seems he’s back on our radar ahead of the New Year sales.
Having been brought in at great expense by Claudio Ranieri following the Foxes’ miraculous title-winning heroics back in 2016, the hope was that he would dovetail perfectly with the more diminutive Jamie Vardy to create a lethal little and large partnership at the head of the side; sadly that understanding simply hasn’t materialised.
The Algerian international moved to the King Power with quite the reputation, having netted a ridiculously good 57 goals in 109 appearances for Portuguese giants Sporting CP. Standing at an imposing 6’1, it was the big man’s prolific goal scoring form which first alerted the Eagles to his presence too but for some reason, he’s just not been able to replicate that sort of performance on these shores.
With Hodgson’s men struggling badly for goals whilst both Christian Benteke and Connor Wickham remain sidelined, it stands to reason that they’d be interested in taking Slimani off Leicester’s hands but with relegation still looking like a real possibility, the size of the potential transfer fee will no doubt have a huge bearing on our interest in securing a deal between now and January.
With a record of 11 goals in 36 games since moving to the Midlands, Slimani was almost certainly hoping for a show of faith from new boss Claude Puel but after being left on the bench for the entirety of their 2-0 victory over Everton last Sunday, it wouldn’t surprise me if his patience was wearing thin. Luckily for us and any other potential suitors, he doesn’t appear to have publicly thrown any toys out of the pram just yet but after making the move to England in the hope of enhancing his reputation, it’s looking more and more likely that he’ll have to leave Leicester if he still wishes to do so.
Watch this space.