May 9, 2021

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Kelechi Iheanacho single-handedly maintains Leicester City Champions League aspirations

If you look through the Premier League you are sure to find a player in great shape like Leicester City leader Kelechi Ihenacho. He burst onto the scene last month for the Foxes, playing a key role in the team’s Champions League hopes.

Currently, Brendan Rodgers’ men sit in third place with 63 points with four games remaining. They are just two points ahead of Chelsea and five over West Ham in fifth position. But the remaining schedule is very difficult, with clashes against United, Blues and Tottenham.

Nonetheless, it’s hard to ignore what Iheanacho has managed to do since the start of March. The Nigeria international has scored nine goals in eight league appearances since, while helping Leicester advance to the FA Cup final thanks to a brace against the Red Devils a few weeks ago.

It’s no secret that Jamie Vardy struggles to clinically find himself in the bottom third, having only scored once in his last 14 competitive appearances.

Frankly, it’s hard to imagine the Foxes even sitting in the top four without Iheanacho’s contributions. Whether it’s scoring home goals at an incredible pace or just creating countless attacking opportunities in the future, the 24-year-old is truly in the shape of a life.

Leicester lost points this weekend at Southampton despite the Saints receiving a red card early, settling for a 1-1 draw. Iheanacho has struggled to create havoc but you can’t look past what he has done for this club.

Vardy is not getting any younger and ultimately they will need a striker to replace him full time. There is no guarantee that Iheanacho will continue to score at half that rate, but the Nigerian shows his ability to be a very dangerous character in the final third.

It is also important to note that Iheanacho started in the lead alongside Vardy instead of replacing the Englishman like in previous years. It has clearly done a lot for Iheanacho’s confidence based on his consistency in front of goal, scoring 14 times in his last 14 games. That’s the same amount he’s managed in the previous 76 appearances. Talk about a complete turnaround.

Leicester usually play with a striker at Vardy, but since they changed things up due to injuries the situation is quite different for Iheanacho’s development.

Overall, he is the Foxes’ top scorer in all competitions, with 17 goals. It’s certainly nowhere near just 10 last season. Iheanacho has also been involved in 15 goals in all competitions this season, which is the second biggest among Premier League players other than Harry Kane.

After moving to King Power from Manchester City in the summer of 2017, it may have taken a while for Iheanacho to settle in and find his best.

But it looks like the start of what could be a special career at Leicester. After all, England’s top flight are arguably the best league in the world and producing at such a high pace speaks volumes about Iheanacho’s abilities.