If Louis van Gaal wishes to remain at the helm of Manchester United for the foreseeable future, the recruitment of another striker looks a must.
And in Sporting Lisbon’s Islam Slimani, the Dutchman may have found the ideal mid-season purchase.
According to the Sun, the Red Devils are lining up a £12 million bid for the forward in what could prove to be a bargain signing in today’s escalating transfer market. Here are five reasons why:
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1. An all-round striker
Though not the most skilled or polished of forwards, Slimani has plenty of impressive facets to his game.
A pacey, penalty box operator, the Algerian is equally adept at finishing chances off with his head as he is with his feet and could take to the Premier League quickly.
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2. In impressive form
The 27-year-old is in the midst of his best season yet with Sporting, having scored 18 goals in 28 appearances already this campaign.
That’s three more goals than he managed last season, with two of his strikes this term coming in the Europa League.
3. No flat-track bully
Slimani’s goals have not been reserved for the Lisbon giants’ lesser opponents either – one of his earliest strikes for Sporting was the winner in a 1-0 victory over Porto.
He also netted in the club’s 3-2 triumph over Braga in the Portuguese Cup Final. Slimani’s scoring feats have continued this term, with the Algerian netting in wins over Benfica and Porto.
4. Can handle the pressure
Time and time again, he’s shown himself capable of handling the pressure of big games.
As well as scoring in that cup final win, Slimani also found the back of the net in Sporting’s 3-1 win over Besiktas which helped the club to progress to the knockout round of the Europa League.
His greatest moment came with Algeria at the World Cup where he scored in a 4-2 win over South Korea and also bagged the equaliser against Russia that helped the Desert Foxes progress to the knockout phase for the first time.
5. International pedigree
Those goals have helped Slimani maintain a record, at international level, which is second to none. In 41 appearances for Algeria to date, the 27-year-old has scored 20 goals at a rate of one every two appearances.