Leicester City completed the deadline day signing of Algeria International, Islam Slimani on a five-year contract for a record £29.8m fee.
Slimani’s huge price tag served as a major talking point among Leicester City supporters and fans of the Premier League as a result of the League he’s coming from.
The Portuguese first division isn’t rated all that highly when compared to the Premier League which in turn casts a shadow of doubt on players coming in from Portugal.
How Prolific is Slimani?
Apparently Slimani is of Premier League quality. He bagged 27 goals last season for Sporting Lisbon, a tally which piqued Leicester City’s interest.
However, the Premier League is evidently harder and more physically demanding than any other League in Europe. Hence, it’s entirely fair to cast doubts over Slimani’s actual ability.
Stats can be referenced to make comparisons, but the fact remains that we’ll have to see Slimani on the pitch before he can be dubbed as overpriced.
He finished as the runner-up for the Bola de Prata which is the Primera Liga’s version of the golden boot award.
Benfica’s Jonas Oliveira topped the charts with 32 goals while Slimani was a close second on the goalscoring charts.
The gap between Slimani and the third highest goalscorer was quite wide as the 28-year-old amassed a seven-goal lead over Konstantinos Mitroglu who also features for Benfica.
Bagging 27 goals is a mean feat in any League in the world, but the manner in which Islam Slimani achieved this deserves a huge round of applause. Leicester City fans will certainly be hoping that he can do something similar at the King Power Stadium.
How Will Slimani fit in the Squad?
Slimani’s arrival will result in Okazaki and Ulloa falling down the pecking order due to their current bit-part roles in the squad.
Leicester was over-reliant on Vardy and Mahrez’ performances last season, but with Slimani now in the fray, the goalscoring burden will be shared amongst all three players.
Mahrez will be keen on helping his compatriot settle in at Leicester, and their long-standing friendship could prove beneficial to the cohesion between midfield and attack for Leicester.
Ahmed Musa’s involvement in the squad could also be limited by Slimani’s arrival unless of course, Ranieri opts to feature Musa on the left flank while Albrighton gets sidelined.
The availability of alternatives in the attacking third will help Leicester to challenge on all four fronts without banking too much on individual players.
Islam Slimani is a player who possesses immense technical adeptness amongst other key attributes required to hit the back of the net on a regular basis.
He’s coming off a goal-laden season, and he’ll be keen on hitting the ground running from the onset at Leicester.
As unlikely as a viable title bid might seem for the Foxes, Leicester might have just acquired a top quality striker that can help them in retaining the Premier League crown.