Slimani starts strongly for Leicester
The Premier League Champions, Leicester City, got back to winning ways in the Premier League last weekend thanks to two goals from their new striker - Islam Slimani. Slimani was making his Premier League debut and didn't take very long to get used to the high-speed game in England. After missing one good chance in the first half he wasn't going to say no to a second opportunity. In the 45th minute, Christian Fuchs put a free-kick into the penalty area and Slimani put an unstoppable header past Burnley's goalkeeper. Slimani wasn't finished there! Just three minutes into the second half, Slimani and Leicester had their second goal of the afternoon. Riyad Mahrez crossed the ball, Jamie Vardy flicked on the ball with the back of his foot, and Slimani headed the ball powerfully into the net. An own goal, after good work from Mahrez, made the score Leicester 3-0 Burnley and a debut to remember for Islam Slimani.
It was good for Slimani and for everyone. It was a very good performance but he also linked very well with his teammates and pressed very hard. We bought him for these characteristics. Leicester City manager, Claudio Ranieri.
Which striker made the best ever Premier League debut?
Slimani scored twice on his Premier League debut and, in general, played very well - working very hard without the ball and linking well with his strike partner, Vardy, and his international teammate, Mahrez. But, was it the best ever Premier League debut? We've chosen three other Premier League debuts for you to remember.
- Jurgen Klinsmann, Tottenham v Sheffield Wednesday, 1994
Klinsmann made a surprising move to the Premier League in the 1994/95 season. When he arrived at Tottenham, he wasn't liked by fans in England because he was part of the German team that had beaten England in the World Cup semi-final in 1990. He also had a reputation as a diver. But he won over the fans with some great performances and a good sense of humour. On his debut, he made two assists and scored a last-minute winner to give Spurs a 4-3 win. To celebrate, he ran over to the fans and dived on the floor as a joke! Where is he now? He's the coach of the USA national team.
- Fabrizio Ravanelli, Middlesbrough v Liverpool, 1996
It was a big surprise when Ravanelli moved to Middlesbrough in 1996. The previous season, Ravanelli had played for Juventus and had scored Juve's goal in the Champions League Final as they beat Ajax in a penalty shoot-out. He couldn't have wished for a better debut - he scored a hat-trick against Liverpool! The season didn't finish so well for Middlesbrough. Boro got to the final of both cup competitions but lost them both AND were relegated from the Premier League. Ravanelli also left at the end of the season. Where is he now? He works as a TV pundit for Italian television.
- Sergio Aguero, Manchester City v Swansea, 2011
When Aguero arrived at Manchester City he was expected to score goals. City had paid Atletico Madrid £38 million for the Argentinian striker for him to score the goals that would help City become a force in English and European football. But City fans probably didn't know how quickly Aguero would adapt to English football. The answer was not very long. Against Swansea City, Aguero made his debut as a substitute in the 59th minute. He scored just 9 minutes later, then provided an assist for David Silva and then, in the last minute, scored a wonderful long-range goal from outside the penalty area. Where is he now? 145 goals later he's still with City and probably the best striker in the Premier League.
Who do you think made the best debut? Check out our vote at the bottom of the page!
What do we know about Islam Slimani?
Islam Slimani was born on 18 June 1988 in Algiers the capital of Algeria. Unlike many other players, Slimani didn't join a European club early in his career. He first played for JSM Cheraga, a small club from just outside Algiers. In 2009, Slimani signed for CR Belouizdad in the Algerian first division. Despite interest from some French clubs, Slimani stayed at Belouizdad for four years. Finally, in 2013, Slimani made a move to Europe, but it wasn't to France. Slimani moved to Portugal to play for Sporting Lisbon. While in the Portuguese capital, Slimani scored a lot of goals. He scored 57 in only 109 matches but it was last season that caught the eye of some Premier League clubs. In 2015/16, Slimani scored 31 goals in 44 matches. On the final day of the summer transfer window, Leicester City broke their transfer record (£28 million) to bring Slimani to Leicester and play for the Premier League Champions.
It's a great honour for me and my family to be here with a club as great as Leicester. Islam Slimani.
Does Slimani play for Algeria?
Islam Slimani has a great record for the Algerian national team or the 'Desert Foxes' as they are sometimes known. He's scored 23 goals in only 44 matches and only 3 of these goals have come in friendly matches which shows that he is a player who scores in important games. Two of his international goals came at the World Cup in Brazil. The first was in a 4-2 win against South Korea and the second in a 1-1 draw against Russia which sent Algeria into the last-16 for the first ever time. Algeria lost to the eventual World Cup Winners - Germany, but only after an exciting match, with Germany winning in extra-time. Slimani will not be alone when playing for the 'Foxes' of Leicester. His international teammate, Riyad Mahrez, has been at Leicester for a few years and played an important part in Slimani becoming the second Algerian to join the club. If Slimani can be as successful as Mahrez, Leicester will have another fantastic season!
My dear friend Riyad Mahrez spoke to me lots of times about Leicester and how good a club it is. Leicester is without doubt the most supported club in Algeria now. Islam Slimani talking about why he joined Leicester City.
Will Slimani be a success at Leicester?
There was a lot of football vocabulary in this article. Try the quiz below and test your understanding of football vocabulary. You can find all the answers in the text above.
There have been some great Premier League debuts over the years. Islam Slimani's debut for Leicester was one of them and we looked at three others in this article. Which one do you think was the best?
What do you think?
Islam Slimani had a great debut for Leicester City. How well will he do for Leicester? Will he score a lot of goals?
Can you remember any memorable debuts? Is it important to make a good start when you join a new club?
Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani are teammates for club and country. Is this helpful for club and national teams?
Do you understand all the words in the article? Was there any vocabulary that you would like some help with?