After reports surfaced linking Crystal Palace to a January move for Leicester City striker Islam Slimani in the Algerian press last week, it now looks as though the man himself is angling for a move away from the club.
Despite joining the Foxes with a big reputation after a few sterling years with Sporting CP in Portugal, a string of managers have now failed to use the Algerian international regularly, leaving him with little option but to look for a move away from the King Power stadium in the New Year.
Given just 108 minutes of Premier League football this term, (one start and five substitute appearances) the big man has struggled to find his feet. Luckily, he has been given the chance to impress in the EFL Cup, scoring four goals in three starts to prove that he hasn’t completely lost his way whilst on the books of the English 2016 champions.
He will obviously have been hoping that Claude Puel’s arrival would signal a fresh start for him but as of yet, he hasn’t been given any indication that he’s in the Frenchman’s long-term plans. Whilst others may well feel able to bide their time, Slimani at 29, is obviously desperate to show what he can do when given a proper run of games.
Although Palace are hoping to welcome Benteke (& Wickham) back into the fold before too long, Hodgson is likely to see a degree of logic to the potential signing of Slimani, given his comfort as a target man. With the likes of Zaha and Townsend giving Palace a real fear factor in the final third, the arrival of a fit and highly motivated challenger to Benteke could just work wonders for a side who, as of yet, have really struggled in front of goal.
It looks as though the wheels may be beginning to turn over a potential switch. Watch this space.