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How Kelechi Iheanacho is emerging as Jamie Vardy's heir apparent at Leicester City

Kelechi Iheanacho (right) has been in imperious form this season.
Kelechi Iheanacho (right) has been in imperious form this season.
ANALYST
Modified 27 Apr 2021
Feature

Leicester City are well in the reckoning for a top-four finish in the 2020-21 Premier League. The Foxes are currently third in the table, with 62 points.

Key to their impressive run has been the form of Jamie Vardy and his strike partner Kelechi Iheanacho. The duo has terrorised defenders in the English top flight and are Leicester’s City's top two scorers for the season.

Vardy has scored 15 goals in all competitions this season and also tallied eight assists, while Iheanacho has netted 17 times this campaign and has provided six assists.

Although Vardy has been impressive, Iheanacho's form has caught the eyes of many. The Nigerian struggled to find his feet since joining arriving from Manchester City in the summer of 2017. But he has been a revelation for Leicester City this term and has greatly improved his goal return as well.

Kelechi Iheanacho in red-hot form for Leicester City

Kelechi Iheanacho made a slow start to his campaign; in fact, he wasn’t even a starter at the beginning of the season. By February, he had scored just three goals.

However, the 24-year-old turned on beast mode since then. He has hit a rich vein of form in the last two months. On Monday, he had a hand in both Leicester City goals as the Foxes came from behind to beat Crystal Palace.

Iheachano set up Timoty Castagne for Leicester City's equaliser before he scored the winner by firing a sweet left-footed shot into the top corner after marvellously controlling the ball.

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Kelechi Iheanacho has now scored 14 goals in his last 14 matches and is on course to win the Premier League’s Player of the Month award.

Kelechi Iheanacho could be Jamie Vardy's long-term replacement

Jamie Vardy has been Leicester City's main man up front since the club Foxes got promoted to the Premier League. The Englishman has been a good servant for the club, but at 34, he is approaching the twilight of his career.

Vardy may still be going strong, but his recent injury woes suggest Leicester City must begin planning for life without their no. 9. The good thing, though, is that they don’t need to look too far for that.

Brendan Rodgers has managed to bring the best out of Iheanacho, and the Nigerian already looks like the perfect replacement for his senior strike partner.

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“For so long this team, Leicester have been spoken about as a Jamie Vardy team. If Vardy's injured, Leicester will struggle or what about (when Vardy leaves) in two or three years time? How will they replace him?” Jamie Carragher said, as quoted by the Daily Mail. And you look at him (Iheanacho) right now, he's been there a few years, it hasn't worked out; he cost £25m to £30m, but he's shown what he's about.”

Kelechi Iheanacho, who has been in imperious form this season, could be Jamie Vardy's long-term successor at Leicester City.

Published 27 Apr 2021, 22:57 IST
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