Leicester City’s most expensive transfer of all time for a good three years, Islam Slimani finally left the club in the last transfer window, moving to Lyon in France on a free.
The Algeria international had been languishing outside of Brendan Rodgers’ plans for some time now, and with a hefty wage on the bill, it was best for all parties to simply part ways.
This came after some tough loans at both Newcastle United and Fenerbahçe for different reasons, and a more promising one with Monaco.
Since his move to Lyon, Slimani has had a solid start with his new club, scoring a goal and assisting another two in his only start in a 5-1 Coupe de France win over AC Ajaccio, as well as coming off the bench seven times in seven league games.
He’s not a regular starter yet due to Memphis Depay’s form and the type of football Rudi Garcia is trying to play, but there is always room for a plan B, which the target man provides.
The player sat down with beIN Sports over the weekend to discuss a bit of everything, including his move to Leicester and the difficult years that followed with loans to Newcastle United and Fenerbahçe.
Asked how he lived through them, he said: “As normally as possible. I went to Newcastle for six months, and spent four of them injured. People say it’s a failure. No. I didn’t play because I was injured. After, with Fenerbahçe, I arrived, it was good, there was a manager who trusted me, played me.
“Then, one morning, they told me I couldn’t train with us because I was on loan and wouldn’t be there next year. I had offers in January to leave, but they stopped me. It was me and Yassine Benzia. For me, the only mistake I made was to go to Turkey”.
Then came the loan to Monaco, which put the player back in the spotlight, and helped him regain the goalscoring ability many knew he had but hadn’t been able to showcase for a few years.
It was a series of high ups, and a few downs, but it was enough to catch the attention of Lyon who, once they loaned Moussa Dembélé to Atlético Madrid, jumped at the chance of signing Slimani.