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Sports News of Tuesday, 4 May 2021


Kelechi Iheanacho single-handedly keeping Leicester City’s Champions League aspirations alive

Kelechi Iheanacho Kelechi Iheanacho

If you look across the Premier League, you’d be flat out to find a player in top form like Leicester City frontman Kelechi Ihenacho. He’s burst onto the scene over the last month for the Foxes, playing a key part in the side’s Champions League hopes.

Currently, Brendan Rodgers’ men sit in third place with 63 points with four matches to go in the term. They’re just two points ahead of Chelsea and five above West Ham in fifth. But, the remaining schedule is very tough, with clashes against United, the Blues, and Tottenham.

Nevertheless, it’s hard to ignore what Iheanacho has managed to do since the beginning of March. The Nigerian international has bagged nine goals in eight league games since, while also helping Leicester advance to the FA Cup final thanks to a brace versus the Red Devils a couple of weeks back.

It’s no secret that Jamie Vardy is struggling to find his clinical self in the final third, having netted only once in his last 14 competitive appearances.

Frankly, it’s hard to imagine the Foxes even sitting in the top four still without Iheanacho’s contributions. From firing home goals at an uncanny rate to simply creating countless attacking opportunities going forward, the 24-year-old is truly in the form of his life.

Leicester did drop points over the weekend at Southampton despite the Saints getting an early red card, settling for a 1-1 draw. Iheanacho did struggle to create havoc, but you can’t look past what he’s done for this club.

Vardy isn’t getting any younger and eventually, they will need a striker to replace him on a full-time basis. There are no guarantees that Iheanacho will continue to even score at half of this rate, but the Nigerian is showing the ability to be a very dangerous figure in the final third.

It’s also important to note that Iheanacho has been starting up top alongside Vardy instead of coming on as a substitute for the Englishman like past years. This has clearly done a lot for Iheanacho’s confidence based on his consistency in front of goal, netting 14 times in his last 14 games. That’s the same amount he managed in the previous 76 appearances. Talk about a complete turnaround.

Leicester typically plays with one striker in Vardy, but since they’ve changed things around due to injuries, it’s been a much different story for the development of Iheanacho.

Overall, he is the Foxes’ leading scorer across all competitions, bagging 17 goals. It’s certainly a far cry from just 10 last season. Iheanacho has also been involved in 15 goals across all competitions this term, which is the second-most amongst Premier League players other than Harry Kane.

After making the move to the King Power from Manchester City in the summer of 2017, it may have taken Iheanacho time to settle in and find his best.

But, this looks to be the start of what could potentially be a special career at Leicester. After all, England’s top flight is arguably the best league in the world and to be producing at such a high rate says a lot about Iheanacho’s capabilities.