For some time, many believed that he didn’t have what it takes to become one of the main men at the club, but the Kelechi Iheanacho new contract at Leicester City proves otherwise. It caps off the perfect week for the forward, who picked up the EA Sports Player of the Month award just a day earlier.
The contract indicated the faith Brendan Rodgers has in Iheanacho to succeed. And that faith comes as no surprise, either, with the forward scoring seven times in his last four games.
With Vardy edging closer and closer to retirement, Leicester need someone to step up. Iheanacho is proving week in week out that he can be that man.
Iheanacho New Contract Caps Off Perfect Week
— Leicester City (@LCFC) April 3, 2021
Most Important Month of His Career
As previously alluded to, the former Manchester City youngster looked unlikely to cut it at Leicester City for some time. Yet, here he is, finally making his mark. And much of the credit for the upturn in that form deserves to go to Brendan Rodgers, who has turned Leicester into consistent Champions League chasers.
Before March, Iheanachio’s ability could still be questioned. His first Premier League hattrick and a month to savour later and his place in the Foxes side is undeniably cemented. The forward has made the comeback of all comebacks to turn his Leicester City career around.
Now the focus will be on the rest of the season. Last year, the Foxes collapsed post-lockdown before missing out on a top-four place that once looked guaranteed as Jamie Vardy’s goals dried up. A year later and the goals of Jamie Vardy are no longer relied on to decide games.
The summer allowed Leicester and Rodgers to build a squad capable of performing not just in bursts but consistently throughout the season. Crucially, too, they found three or four more goalscoring outlets.
This time around, when Vardy’s form has dropped, Maddison has stepped up, Barnes has stepped up, and, most importantly, Kelechi Iheanacho has started to fulfil his potential.
New Contract for Iheanacho Suggests Key Role for Future
At 34, Jamie Vardy can’t go on for too much longer. Eventually, his pace will turn from the speed of lightning to sharpness more resemblant of an ageing player. And, naturally, Leicester will need a replacement.
Before this season, the case could have been made for a replacement from an outside source. And then Iheanacho found form, was rewarded with a new contract and handed a role in Leicester’s future. Hattrick ball and Player of the Month award in hand, Iheanacho has unsurprising newfound confidence.
Heading into the future, Brendan Rodgers must push the forward further towards his ever-increasing potential. Then, and only then, can he ensure that he has the right man to replace Vardy’s goals.
The Foxes are no longer a flash in the pan. With a mix of both experience and youth, the Leicester squad is more than capable of gaining a permanent place in the Premier League’s top six for many years to come.
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