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Pulse Opinion Kelechi Iheanacho ends his debut season at Leicester City by showing his worth

Iheanacho was the perfect No. 8 for Leicester City when they beat Arsenal 3-1 in a Premier League game.

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Kelechi Iheanacho play Pulse Opinion: Kelechi Iheanacho finally showing his worth at Leicester City (Graham Chadwick Daily Mail)

Just a day after he was unveiled as a Leicester City player in August 2017,  Kelechi Iheanacho made his debut for the Foxes, coming on as a substitute in a pre-season game against Borussia Monchengladbach to assist Jamie Vardy for the winner.

Craig Shakespeare, who was the then manager of Leicester City had hinted that he wanted Iheanacho as a No. 8 and on his debut, he showed why he could be trusted with that role.

The 21-year-old forward ran into space to collect a ball from Riyad Mahrez, with the ball on his favourite left foot, Iheanacho square-played to Vardy who finished past the Monchengladbach goalkeeper.

Iheanacho to Vardy, How many times, we will we be saying that this season,” the commentator on Leicester City TV said afterwards.

Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho play Iheanacho assisted Vardy to show early promise for their partnership at Leicester City (Leicester City)


It was indeed what Shakespeare wanted to see from his new £25m signing.

After getting the limelight at the 2013 U-17 FIFA World Cup as a midfielder, Iheanacho had been turned to an out-and-out striker by his coach at Manchester City, Manuel Pellegrini. As a No.9 Iheanacho showed an innate finishing ability and aptness to be in the right place at the right time.

He scored the goals too and at a time had the best goal-per-minute ratio in the Premier League.

Premier League goal-per-minute ratio as at December 2016 play Iheanacho top the goal-per-minute ratio in Premier League history as at December 2016 (Sky Sports )


So when Shakespeare splashed the cash on him, he wanted a No.8 who could also come with the goals.

Iheanacho’ however did not get off the mark at Leicester City. He struggled with fitness after picking up an injury on his debut.

The early season form of Shinji Okazaki also limited his playing time.

When Shakespeare was sacked in October, Frenchman Claude Puel came in and didn’t really fancy Iheanacho.

Iheanacho this season

Struggling to get games in the Premier League, Iheanacho was limited to just cup games with which he built his confident with some good goals. Despite his goalscoring form in cup games, Puel didn't seemed convinced with the Nigerian forward.

But towards the end of the season and with not much to play for, Puel gave Iheanacho more playing time and the Nigerian showed his worth for Leicester City.

He played in Leicester City’s last six Premier League games of the season and he was on from the start in four of them.

Kelechi Iheanacho and Danny Welbeck play Iheanacho has started to show he can be the perfect No. 8 for Leicester City (GRAHAM CHADWICK/DAILY MAIL)

He had his best game yet for the Foxes in their 3-1 home win over Arsenal on Wednesday, May 9 and he was everything Leicester City hoped for when they signed him a year ago.

Iheanacho was a menace to the Arsenal defence, popping up in the right places, scoring a goal and hitting those first time balls to Vardy that caught the opposition sleeping.

Kelechi Iheanacho play Iheanacho scored again for Leicester City against Tottenham, their last game of the season (Holly Allison/TPI/REX/Shutterstock)


In their last game of the season at Wembly against Tottenham, he scored another fantastic goal again and was impressive with his movement in the opposition's box.

In those two games, he showed a mix of his early days as midfielder and the potentials in front of goal he displayed as a striker at Manchester. The perfect No. 8.

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