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Islam Slimani reveals why he opted for Newcastle United

14:25 GMT 01/02/2018
Islam Slimani Leicester City
The forward teamed up with the Magpies after failing to impress at the King Power Stadium and has unravelled the reason behind the decision

Islam Slimani has revealed why he opted for a loan move to Newcastle United ahead of other European sides interested in him.

West Ham United, Chelsea, Monaco and Besiktas were also reported to have logged interest in signing the 29-year-old, but he headed for the St. James' Park outfit instead

The Algeria international joined Leicester City for a club record fee from Sporting CP in the summer of 2016 and scored seven goals in 23 league appearances in his first season.

This term, he has failed to get sufficient game time under his belt with Jamie Vardy and Shinji Okazaki ahead of him in the pecking order.

And following the deadline day transfer, the former Belouizdad player has revealed that the Magpies fans and manager, Rafa Benitez were two factors that made up his mind.

“Thank you, thank you. It’s a great thing for me - and for Newcastle. I’m happy to be here and hopefully I’m going to be able to come here and give them a hand,” Slimani told NUFCTV.

“The last 24 hours were complicated but I think I have made the right choice. It’s a big club and I’m definitely happy with my choice.

"It’s true that there were a lot of clubs that were interested in me but knowing the power of the fans and crowd here and how great they are and also speaking to the manager, it gave me the confidence to know that this was the right choice.

“Rafa Benitez is a big coach with a great reputation for him calling me and him being here had a great effect on my choice.

“Newcastle’s a historic club so I’ve known about it from a very young age. When I was young, the film Goal was around, but more importantly, there were legendary players like Alan Shearer it was obvious to me how big a club it was.

“I’m a goalscorer. That is what this team needs- it needs more goals, and that is what I’ll try to do in my time here; score as many goals as I possibly can.

“The key thing here is staying up and fighting for the team and that’s exactly what I want to do. My objective is to make this team better, fight to remain in the Premier League. That’s what I joined this club for."