According to the Shields Gazette, Rafa Benitez has praised Islam Slimani’s substitute performance against Arsenal in their 2-1 victory yesterday.

Slimani joined The Magpies on loan from Leicester City in January, but his Newcastle career didn’t get off to a good start due to injury and the form of Dwight Gayle and Ayoze Perez.

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However, yesterday’s substitute appearance from the Algerian was exactly what Newcastle were looking for from Slimani.

A great target man performance from Slimani, which saw him create the winner from Matt Ritchie, earned the praise from his manager, who brought him on for Gayle which is did change the game.

Benitez said

I think he has the desire. He’s a worker. He wants to impress.

With him, and after Joselu who was doing a good job as a second striker, and after with Jacob (Murphy), so we had fresh legs and also players that had the ambition and desire to make an impact in the end.

That helps the team to go out when you’re under pressure or to play in the way that we were playing in the end.

Slimani will be hoping that his performance will earn him more places to start for Newcastle which could earn him a permanent move to The Magpies or a starting place at his parent club Leicester.