Last season, Leicester City’s maintained consistency dropped significantly, resulting in a finish outside of the top four, and one thing became clear. They lacked squad depth and another goalscoring outlet.
Summer signings such as Timothy Castagne and Wesley Fofana have thrived, but Iheanacho has been the key to Leicester City’s maintained consistency. Before his sudden spark into life, when Jamie Vardy failed to produce the goals, Leicester followed suit- especially without James Maddison and Harvey Barnes.
Now, with another goalscoring outlet in Iheanacho, the Foxes needn’t worry when Vardy fails to produce. When the main man fails to step up, another cog in the Leicester consistency machine does.
Kelechi Iheanacho the Key to Leicester City’s Consistency
Leicester City’s Maintained Consistency Partly Down to Improved Iheanacho
After netting a hat-trick against Sheffield United, people finally began to take note of his improvement. When he first joined Leicester from Manchester City in 2017, many touted it as a bargain deal, and rightfully so.
The young striker had made a meaningful impact at the Etihad; he looked ready to take to stardom when given the opportunity. And the Leicester move was that opportunity. Yet, when it came to three years at the club last season, many labelled him a failure.
He was meant to become Vardy’s successor, but here the Englishman is at 34-years-old, yet to be phased out of the side. And, yes, this is mainly due to his maintained form, but also due to Leicester’s lack of replacement.
This became an issue last season, too, when Vardy began to falter; the goals stopped flowing, and Leicester dropped points as a result. This season is different. This season, as Vardy’s goals have dried up, various other sources have stepped up to keep Leicester City’s consistency maintained.
Iheanacho in the Form of His Life
In the last five Premier League games, Vardy has failed to score a single goal. Last season, this would have led to catastrophic consequences. This season, however, whilst his goal drought occurs, Iheanacho has stepped up.
The Nigerian forward, in the event of Vardy’s drought, has netted five. Meanwhile, Maddison, Ayoze Perez, Barnes and Tielemans have also contributed.
The fact is, what would have been a crisis just a season ago has become a period of ease for the Foxes. Squad depth was added. Goalscoring outlets stepped up, and, therefore, the Leicester train towards Champions League football continues to roll on.
Next in Line to Replace Vardy?
At 34, it doesn’t seem too far away before Vardy’s time in the Premier League reaches its end. And that’s why Iheanacho is the key. Many will want Brendan Rodgers to look towards the transfer market when finding a replacement, but he may have one sitting in his squad.
As each week passes, Iheanacho is improving and becoming the player Leicester believed they had secured in 2017. The game against Sheffield United just highlights that progress. At 24, too, the Nigerian has plenty of time to get even better under Rodgers.
So, perhaps, when the time comes for Vardy to hang up his boots, Iheanacho should become the natural successor in the frontline. His form certainly suggests he is capable of doing so.
As things stand, Leicester City’s maintained consistency looks set to secure them a Champions League place.
Embed from Getty Images