Nigeria and Leicester City forward, Kelechi Iheanacho, emerged the Best Premier League Player in the month of March, becoming only the fourth Nigerian to win that award. He scored five goals in two games to see off competition from the likes of Harry Kane, Riyad Mahrez, Illan Meslier, Leandro Trossard, and Jesse Lingard.
Nonetheless, a lingering question on the minds of many is whether this is a flash in the pan or this new form is here to stay. After signing for the foxes in 2017, Kelechi was expected to become a mainstay at the Leicester City side, but he struggled to get the sort of form that won him the best U-17 player in 2015, with more recent signings — Maddison and Ayoze Perez ranking above him in the pursuit of first-team opportunities. He has been used more in fringe games — the League Cup, FA Cup, and the Europa League.
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Iheanacho has scored a paltry 30 goals in his four years at Leicester City, with this season marking his highest contribution of eleven goals; a one-third of all his goals at Leicester City. He has been called to action a few times, and for a player who needs to be in the first team, he would have wanted to impress, but he always fell short. Most recently was last season’s final day loss to Manchester United where Leicester City needed a win to make it to the Champions League.
Also, Iheancho has shown over the years that he seems to be a streak player — he might score in straight back-to-back games, only to disappear almost immediately, before returning to his old scoring form. Over the years, he has shown a few glimpses of brilliance, but after some good games, he vanished. To become a force; to reach the heights many expect him to reach, he has to be more consistent no matter the situation.
Recent injuries to Harvey Barnes, Ayoze Perez, and Maddison Jnr have seen him get more minutes in the Premier League, and he has repaid Brendan Rodgers handsomely for the opportunity. After an average showing against Arsenal, he sprung up to life, scoring in four consecutive games in all competitions with a Premier League hat-trick in the mix. He also gave assists to make March an unforgettable month in his Leicester City career.
According to Brendan Rodgers — Leicester City manager — Kelechi Iheanacho has an abundance of confidence and self-belief, but that alone can’t take him far; he needs to train hard and train extra. With the potential that the 24-year-old possesses, he has the ability to play better football and raise his game so he could be more of a mainstay in his club. Things can only get better for the Nigerian; let’s watch as his better form manifests.
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