From a benchwarmer to Seniorman Kelz: the story of Kelechi Iheanacho

Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho is currently having the best form of his career. The Former Man City star scored his 17th goal of the season against Palace on Monday. Kelechi Iheanacho has now scored 14 goals in his last 14 games for Brendan Rodgers side. The 24 year-old scored his first premier league goal in early February. Since then, Iheanacho has score 12 league goals in 9 games.

Prior to his recent form the Nigerian International struggled to find his feet after his left Man City. Kelechi Iheanacho has been in the shadows of the ever present Jamie Vardy since he joined Leicester. Iheanacho as a result struggled with form and fitness and the striker was unable to fulfill the promise that brought him to the limelight.

Kelechi Iheanaco: Rise to fame

For Kelechi Iheanacho, it all started at the 2013 U-17 World Cup where a 16 year-old Kelechi dazzled the World. The youngster finished as the tournament’s golden boot winner, helping Nigeria to win the competition.

Iheanacho’s performance inevitably attracted interests from Europe. Manchester City was the team that secured the signature of a 17 year-old Kelechi Iheanacho in 2015. A work permit delayed his availability for Man City, but, Kelechi Iheanacho made his debut for the citizens a year later. In his first full season, Kelechi Iheanacho put in some fine display and scored 11 goals for Pellegrini’s Man City.

The arrival of veteran tactician Pep Guardiola spelt the end for Iheanacho’s time at Manchester. Guardiola signed Brazilian striker, Gabriel Jesus which led to the departure of Kelechi. The Nigerian was behind Aguero and Jesus in the striker position and was offloaded by City.

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Kelechi Iheanaco at Leicester City

The former Man City man’s fight for game time would not become easier as he would go on to meet Vardy at Leicester City. Kelechi linked up with compatriot Wilfred Ndidi at Leicester who would help him settle in at the club.

Leicester City’s manager Claud Puel could not get the best out of the former Man City striker as he lost form and confidence. Kelechi Iheanacho in his first 70 premier league games for the foxes scored just 9 goals. A goal drought in 2018 and being omitted from the 2019 AFCON squad did not help the player’s confidence.

Brendan Rodgers was appointed new manager at Leicester after the sacking of Claude Puel. Rodgers always supported Iheanacho amidst the player’s struggles at the club. Brendan Rodgers backed the player even when the Nigeria national team coach, Gernot Rohr had criticized Iheanacho.

This season, Iheanacho has proved doubters wrong. Earlier in the campaign, his best performances came in the Europa League and domestic cups. Kelechi Iheanacho has replicated this in the Premier League in recent days. The Nigeria International’s hot form gave him his first Premier League hat-trick against Sheffield. The Foxes are currently 3rd in the Premier League table and now on course to secure European football next season. Kelechi Iheanacho is Leicester City’s top scorer in all competition at the moment with 17 goals. Kelechi, who was a benchwarmer for his club, is now seniorman Kelz.

SEE ALSO: TWO THINGS TO WATCHOUT FOR AS WE REACH THE FINAL FEW WEEKS OF THE 2020/21 PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON

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