Following the departure of Moussa Dembélé (loaned to Atlético de Madrid until the end of the season), Olympique Lyonnais was quick to find a replacement. Returned to Leicester City after his loan to Monaco (9 goals in 18 L1 matches), Islam Slimani (32) is therefore making his return to France. Hired for 18 months, the Algerian international (27 goals in 68 caps) was a target long desired by Juninho, the sporting director of Gones. That’s what the Brazilian has made known.
“We talked a lot during the start of the season. He is a player for whom I have a lot of admiration and respect for his commitment on the pitch. He has a wonderful state of mind. He has a lot of experience, it’s important because the group is young. I tried at the start of the season but it didn’t work. Even though he’s been lacking rhythm for a while, I think he doesn’t need a lot of time to get back in shape ”, he said at a press conference. Admirer of the former Monegasque, the Brazilian did not only praise Slimani.
Juninho is conquered by Slimani
He also explained in detail the reasons that led him to try to recruit him last summer and to return to the charge this winter. “Having already played in Ligue 1 is a plus, but I think it was not decisive for us. We wanted to have it. Many people think L1 is easier than elsewhere. But we see that it is difficult to play in France. It’s a fight, the teams are tactically disciplined. And he speaks Portuguese too, so it’s good with the Brazilians ”, he said, before concluding.
“He’s a goalscorer. For me, I prefer an attacker to score 12, 15 goals instead of 25, but make you gain in fighting spirit. We are not yet perfect on that. We are still a team that is not very aggressive without the ball. And we don’t score a lot of goals from set pieces. The choice Islam weighed on this. If we had scored 4, 5, 6 goals from set pieces, we would have had a little more points. His desire to come was the same with Tino (Kadewere). Seeing players who come to you and who show the desire to wear the jersey is a lot ”. Islam Slimani has not yet worn the OL jersey on a field, but the Algerian has obviously already scored a lot of points in the hearts of Gones.
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