Netting your first goal and winning goal in a crucial time when the team was almost on the verge of settling for a point at home, may change the whole narrative of a player in a particular club.
Leicester City, a club known to have come under immense resurgence since the arrival of Brender Rodgers in January, has found themself in a position of not just battling for the Champions League spot but also contesting for this season’s Premier League title with Liverpool.
However, on Sunday, their brilliant run of form was put to test against Everton. The Toffees went into the break with the lead courtesy of a good finish from Richarlison in the 23rd minute.
But the Foxes found restored parity in the 63rd minute through Jamie Vardy, and it looked like the points will be shared until Kelechi Iheanacho finished perfectly in the sixth minute of added time to give Brendan Rodgers’ side the win.
The Nigerian had not played a single minute of Premier League football this season before being summoned from the bench just after the hour mark. Before Sunday’s game against the Toffees, Iheanacho had not scored in the Premier League since September 22, 2018.
The last time Iheanacho played for the Foxes in the Premier League was against Manchester City on May 6, 2019, where he failed to convert an open chance that could have ended the game 1-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
In an interview with Leicester City Mercury, the former Celtic manager stated that he’s delighted with the new found confidence of the Nigerian international.
“He was absolutely brilliant. For 60 minutes we were trying to progress through the pitch and get crosses and combinations in but it wasn’t quite happening. We had a plan leading into the game that if we had to change it, we could do that.
“We’ve shown it a number of times, where we’ve brought Demarai on and he’s gone up front, but this was Kelechi’s turn today. He was absolutely outstanding. He gave us strength, he gave us power, good running in behind and then he creates and scores a goal.
“That’s a great tribute to him because it’s such a difficult job he has, playing behind one of the top European strikers in Jamie Vardy. He can only come on and play with that confidence because he’s working so hard every single day.
“We’re all delighted for him and I’m delighted for the players because they deserved it.”
“You saw afterward with the celebrations with all the players and staff that everyone was so happy for him. He’s such a good boy who gives his all but doesn’t play so much.
“If you look at his numbers this season, in the cup games, any time he has come in, he’ll affect the game. So it was great recognition for all his hard work.
“He’s a representation of a lot of the guys who aren’t playing because I haven’t used so many players in terms of the Premier League. The rhythm’s been good in the team, the balance has been good, but when any these guys have had to come in, they’ve brought something new to it. It was his turn today and he proved to be the winner for us.”
Leicester built on that win against Everton with another victory against Watford on Wednesday, but Iheanacho was missing in action.