Kelechi Iheanacho will get even better now the “unfair criticism” has stopped, his Leicester City and Nigeria team-mate Wilfred Ndidi has said.
Iheanacho is in the form of his career with seven goals in four games in March propelling City into the semi-finals of the FA Cup, keeping them on course for a top-four finish, and earning him the Premier League’s player of the month award as well as a new three-year contract.
The striker is playing with self-belief, something he has not always had at City. With only fleeting opportunities to impress, Iheanacho could never build up the confidence he needed to score regularly
Making matters more difficult were the harsh assessments of his performances and character, with even his international boss Gernot Rohr questioning his professionalism.
Manager Brendan Rodgers recently recalled the groans Iheanacho’s involvement would cause during the early part of his City tenure.
The boss told Sky Sports: “I know when I came here that there were probably times when there were grumbles if he was playing but he has very quickly won over people. That is just through hard work, resilience and talent. What you are seeing is a young player at the top of his game.”
“I am very happy for him because he’s doing wonderfully well now and everyone can see.
“It’s just sad that when he needed encouragement in the past few years many were quick to write him off, but thankfully some of these people have now turned around to praise him. That’s life.
“He’s a happy guy and Kelechi is only now enjoying a deserving reward for his tireless hard work.
“When you get a rhythm of games and the support of your coach, team-mates and fans, it can only get better.”
For the first time in five games, Iheanacho was unable to find the net last weekend as he faced his former side Manchester City.
He will hope to keep his place in the team – and make a seventh straight start for the first time in his career – when City head to West Ham this weekend for a crucial top-four clash.
In last season’s meeting at the London Stadium, Iheanacho scored the opener for City in a 2-1 win.