According to The Daily Mail, Manchester United are interested in a loan swoop for Islam Slimani.
Following confirmation of the back injury suffered by Marcus Rashford that is likely to keep the England international out for the considerable future, the Red Devils have understandably been linked with moves for attacking reinforcements.
The Daily Mail claim the Manchester side have enquired about the possibility of signing Slimani on a loan deal, but have been told that it will cost them a £4m fee to do so. The Algeria international is still contracted to Premier League side Leicester, but has been out on loan at AS Monaco this season.
The report further claims Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is “desperate” to add a new forward to his options, but that Leicester have told United they will require a fee to let Slimani join the Red Devils on loan until the end of the season.
Whilst Slimani is perhaps best known here for his disappointing spells with both Leicester and Newcastle – he scored a combined total of 13 goals in 50 appearances – the kind of striker that he is, means he could be a valuable pick-up for Solskjaer. Standing at 6 foot 2, the Algerian is a physical monster, with an impressive career average of 2.1 aerial duels won per game.
For all of Rashford’s pace and finishing ability (he had scored 19 goals before his injury), winning headers is not his forte – as per Whoscored, he has a career average of a measly 0.5 aerial duels won per game.
Having Slimani at the top of the attack could allow the likes of Martial and Daniel James, amongst others, to play off him, and offer Solskjaer a much-needed Plan B. Playing against teams that operate with a low block especially, counter-attacking football isn’t always going to be the answer. The 31-year-old could help rectify that by allowing United to go more direct, more quickly. Ed Woodward would be making a smart move to land the Algerian on loan.