Loaned out to AS Monaco for the current season, Islam Slimani remains, first and foremost, a Leicester City player.
While the principality club do have an option to make the move permanent, there remains a doubt as to whether they will, especially with their direction of primarily signing young players.
However, Slimani will have given them food for thought, even if there was a period of about a month or so during the January window when the Algeria international looked like he could cut his loan short and find some other club, as he wasn’t featuring regularly under new manager Robert Moreno.
That has now changed, however, as the veteran goalscorer has managed to work his way back into the Spaniard’s good books, starting the last three games in Ligue 1, and scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win over Montpellier back on Valentine’s Day.
For some of those who have played alongside him, this isn’t surprising.
Take former West Ham forward Sofiane Feghouli, who knows Slimani from the Algeria national team.
He told France Football: “One word to describe him? Proud. He feels he can do anything on a football pitch. For him, he’s at the same level as pretty much everyone. That’s what got him to where he is at the high level. (…) He’s a player who stimulates the group. A dream for any manager”.
In fact, that’s something Yohan Benalouane got to see first hand at Leicester City, as he trained and played with Slimani during his time at the King Power Stadium.
He said: “He’s a serial killer in front of goal. At Leicester, when he arrived, we were able to see all his qualities as a goalscorer. He tires defences a lot too. He’s a plus, whether it be offensively or defensively. He immediately justified the money the club spent on him. He’s a true warrior.
“He was very appreciated for that. As soon as he arrived, he did us a lot of good. He makes us laugh a lot, talks a lot, he’s fun: it’s joy. He’s kind, always there to help the next. For him, it’s never been easy. He always fought. I’m really proud that he’s one of the best forward in Ligue 1”.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens come the end of the season for Slimani and his time at Leicester, but with Brendan Rodgers and co. finding life difficult of late on the football pitch, perhaps he would be just the kind of player needed to turn the situation around right now.