Kelechi Iheanacho joined Leicester City from Manchester City in 2017 for a fee in the region of 25m pounds. The move to King Power offered him more opportunities as he found it difficult to play regularly at the Etihad Stadium due to the array of stars City possessed.
However, Iheanacho’s four years at the King Power Stadium has been somewhat disappointing with just a few top moments during this time.
The Nigerian international has scored 23 goals and registered just 16 assists in 107 games for the Foxes. He was linked with a move away from the club last summer following a season of mixed fortunes.
But he stayed, and it was hoped he would build on his good performance in the second half of last season. But with the campaign at the midway stage, Iheanacho’s best moments have come in two Europa League games.
He has failed to score in ten premier league games, and he has gotten several opportunities to prove he can be an able deputy to Leicester’s top man, Jamie Vardy.
The former Golden Eaglets striker has been linked with a loan move to RB Leipzig this month, but he is unlikely to leave now following Vardy’s injury.
Vardy’s temporary absence offers Iheanacho another chance to prove to Leicester’s manager, Brendan Rodgers, he is a capable replacement.
The ex-Liverpool manager has backed Iheanacho do well in the absence of Vardy, but Emile Heskey does not think so.
“When Vardy doesn’t play you see a difference in the way they play and effectiveness of them going forward,” the ex-Leicester striker said.
“They haven’t quite found someone who could actually fill that gap and this is what they are going to be looking at. Can Iheanacho be that next player? I can’t see it so they have to go and get someone else.
Heskey is right to have his doubts, but it is now left to Iheanacho to prove the former England international wrong and repay Rodgers trust in him with a good performance starting with the FA Cup clash against Brentford.
Rodgers men travel to Brentford Community Stadium to take on the Bees and Iheanacho is expected to lead the line for them.
The Nigerian needs a good performance as that will boost his chances in the next few games and do his confidence a lot of good. He scored against the same team in this round of the competitions last season to help Leicester secure a 1-0 win.
Speaking ahead of the game, Iheanacho stressed the importance of taking the game seriously because they are playing away from home.
“We played them last time in the FA Cup and probably the team has changed a little bit,” Iheanacho told LCFC TV via video call.
“They were a good side last time we played them, and they have good quality players as well, so they might hurt us if we’re not careful. We need to just be ourselves, play our own game and make sure that we get the win.
“We need to take our chances when they come in the first half, so they don’t take us to the second half.
With Leicester involved in a competitive title race and also in the Europa League, Iheanacho will get more opportunities this season, but he needs to improve on his performances if he wants to stay beyond this campaign.
The Super Eagles star needs to have a strong performance on Sunday to show he can be counted on in the Foxes quest for success this season.
Iheanacho is on the last chance saloon at the King Power Stadium, but he could turn it around starting with Sunday’s clash against the Bees.