Mark Lawrenson expresses doubts about Newcastle loanee Islam Slimani

Mark Lawrenson in the stands during the Sky Bet Championship match between Blackburn Rovers and Middlesbrough at Ewood Park on December 28, 2014 in Blackburn, England.

Newcastle United landed Islam Slimani from Leicester City hoping the Algerian could keep Rafa Benitez's side in the Premier League.

Islam Slimani of Leicester City celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Huddersfield Town at The King Power Stadium on January...

If it is quality you’re looking for rather than quantity, Newcastle United might have made all the right moves in the January transfer window.

Fans were understandably frustrated only three players arrived last month, and none on a permanent deal, but the signs already suggest that Newcastle now have a far greater chance of avoiding the drop with this fresh blood energising a hitherto struggling side.

Kenedy has been superb since arriving on loan from Chelsea, setting up Jamaal Lascelles’ goal in a rampant debut performance against Burnley.

A detail of the tattoo on the head of Newcastle player Kenedy during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Burnley at St. James Park on January 31, 2018 in Newcastle upon...

And Martin Dubravka has already shone between the sticks, keeping a clean-sheet in Sunday’s 1-0 win against Manchester United and generally looking like a complete, all-round goalkeeper.

Time will tell, however, whether Islam Slimani can have a similar impact. The Magpies were looking for a new centre-forward all month and eventually secured a deal to bring in the Algerian targetman from Leicester City.

But Mark Lawrenson is far from convinced that Slimani is the answer to Newcastle’s problems.

Islam Slimani of Leicester City evades Markus Schwabl of Fleetwood Town during The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay match between Leicester City and Fleetwood Town at The King Power...

“It’s about goals; goals make the difference in staying in the division and getting relegated,” BBC pundit Lawrenson told the Northern Echo.

“I just look at Newcastle and kind of go, 'am I convinced Slimani will get loads of goals for Newcastle?' No I’m not convinced at all.”

You can see why Lawro is refusing to get carried away with Newcastle’s new centre-forward. Since joining Leicester for a club-record £29 million in 2016, the former Sporting Lisbon striker has scored just eight Premier League goals and rapidly slipped down the pecking order at the King Power Stadium.

But maybe the prospect of being Newcastle's first-choice will see Slimani rediscover the form that once made him the most feared striker in Portuguese football.

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