Islam Slimani, Monaco
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Slimani 'different' to Memphis and Co.

Publish on 16/01/2021 at 00:06

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Olympique Lyonnais coach Rudi Garcia is delighted the club have signed Islam Slimani to replace Moussa Dembélé, saying the former AS Monaco man offers something different in the final third.

Lyon haven't exactly been struggling for goals this season, with only champions Paris Saint-Germain (43) having scored more than les Gones' 39.

 

Memphis Depay, Karl Toko Ekambi and Tino Kadewere have made up Garcia's preferred attack the 2020/21 campaign, the trio combining for 27 goals and 12 assists at the front of his favoured 4-3-3 formation.

 

Plan B

 

It was that system rather than a lack of talent that did for Dembélé this season, the scorer of 16 goals last year departing on loan to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday with just a single strike under his belt this.

 

The move left OL short of a Plan B in attack, though, and the arrival of Slimani from Leicester City - via recent loan spells with Newcastle, Fenerbahce and Monaco - has pleased the coach.

 

Watch: Slimani starred with a goal and three assists for Monaco against Brest last season!

 

 

"I think he's different from the attackers we already have," he said. "He'll certainly be a better header of the ball than the others and will make his size count in attack, but also in defence.

 

"We don't play with wingers in the old-fashioned way, but with three attackers capable of switching positions. They share the task of playing in attack. He'll therefore be able to play in one of the three positions."

 

Debut on Sunday?

 

Whether Slimani gets the nod to occupy that central role for Lyon against FC Metz on Sunday remains to be seen, but the 32-year-old Algeria striker can be confident of playing significant minutes as the season wears on.

"Dembélé absolutely had to be replaced," Garcia concluded. "So signing Slimani was really good news."