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Iheanacho Set For 10th Carabao Cup Clash Vs Man City

Iheanacho Set For 10th Carabao Cup Clash Vs Man City

Nigerian forward Kelechi Iheanacho is in line to make his 10th Carabao Cup appearance with Leicester City when they host his former team, Manchester City in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final clash at the King Power Stadium, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.

Iheanacho who has made nine appearances in the Carabao Cup since he made his debut in the competition with Manchester City where he made three appearances scoring twice will be targeting his fifth appearance (fourth start and his third goal in the competition) against Pep Guardiola’s side.


His compatriot Wilfred Ndidi hopes to make his fourth appearance in the competition. Ndidi who turned 22 on Sunday has featured in all 17 Premier League matches for Leicester City who are without a win in their last three games this season.

Meanwhile, Claude Puel has confirmed he is not looking to bring in a striker in the January transfer window.

Puel told Leicester Mercury that if he dipped into the transfer market in January it would send the wrong signal to the young players he is nurturing, like 22-year-old striker Iheanacho.

The Super Eagles star has struggled in front of goal in the English Premer League this campaign scoring just a goal in 16 league games for the Foxes who are 12th in the English top-flight table.

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His only goal so far this season came in Leicester’s 3-1 defeat of Huddersfield Town back in September.

“If we didn’t give confidence to our young players to develop and grow with the team it would be not the right project for the club,” Puel told Leicester Mercury.

“We need to find the right balance between developing the squad and getting results.

“It is important to put in place what we need to improve the team for the next season and for the future. At the moment it is important to keep our focus on this club and we have a lot of quality and I am happy with this squad.

By Johnny Edward

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  • _ Least Improved Player _

    Writing in the article above CSN reports that Iheanacho ‘has struggled in front of goal in the English Premer League this campaign scoring just a goal in 16 league games for the Foxes who are 12th in the English top-flight table.’

    Writing on talksports.com in January 11 this year, they reported:”Leicester boss Claude Puel insists £25million striker Kelechi Iheanacho will stay with the Foxes this month.

    The Frenchman is not prepared to write off the former Manchester City forward, who has scored just once for the club this term.”

    There is an eerie similarity between these two assessments – one in the start of the year, and the other at the end of the year – which leads to the conclusion that Iheanacho appears to have stagnated in his game in the last 12 months with little sign of improvement in sight .

    That said, as his club and national team coaches haven’t given up on him, neither have I – the potentials are there.

    This is wishing Iheanacho a merry Christmas and prosperous new year in his football and other aspects of his endeavours.

    • There are similarities in the “problem” with Iheanacho and Isaac Success and my thoughts are that it is most likely a problem with integration with the team. Camaraderie, bonding and communication.

      His manager said this week:

      “Puel says Iheanacho, who joined Leicester from Manchester City for £25m in August 2017, is making the right runs and showing good movement in attack but needs better service from the midfield to help him score goals.”

      Alan Shearer also mentioned of Success that certain players seem to be reluctant to pass to him when he is clear on goal.

      Isaac Success recently also states that he has cut out jollof rice and has started eating with the team. This statement right here leads me to believe that a closer interaction with the rest of the team during social events and in the course of the day will improve communication with his fellow attackers and they will be able to discuss the issue of Service in a non co frontational way.

      Have they been seen to be aloof and “the quiet ones”, not mixing with the others? Maybe, just maybe.

      They both have the confidence of their managers, as they can see their potential, but football is a team sport and just making the right choices or having skill is not enough, 

      • Iheanacho should learn how to celebrate his goals with his team mates (who contributed to the goal).

        Since his under-17 days, he is often seen going towards the corner flag to celebrate his goals by himself either raising both hands in the air moving up and down with his knees without actually leaving the ground or just kneeling down hands raised high with a sort of ‘thank you Jesus’ move.

        Jesus didn’t come from heaven to pass the ball to him; his teammates did. So, whilst I will suggest showing gratitude to his teammates at the same time praising the Almighty for his goals.

        If he doesn’t do that, he may find the goals hard to come by; Jesus will not leave the Throne to come down and pass the ball to him – his teammates will.

        • Yep, acknowledging those that contributed is the first step. And I agree, go and thank Jesus onSunday in church if you must, but on the pitch, thank those who created the goal for you.

  • Greenturf 4 years ago

    In my opinion 6career choices could be paramount in a players performances for instance a player like Nacho could do better in a club that plays passing football and struggles with a team that kicks the ball in the air just the way Leicester does.
    Apparently,teams with flair the likes of his former team Manchester city,Liverpool, Arsenal,Tottenham this are the teams with similarities to his playing style.Nacho is never the quickest of players the reason he’s struggling at Leicester where pacy Vardy madisson Okazaki have exceled.What he needs actually is moving to a club with philosophies that suits his playing style not just any club but specific ones where blending and integration will be easy.

    • In my humble opinion, Nacho’s seemingly diminishing pace (which you allude to when you say: “Nacho is never the quickest of players”) means he lacks the fluidity, pace and movement to slot into the philosophies of coaches like Guardiola or Klopp who utilize speedy forwards (mane, salah, Sterling, Jesus etc) to inter-change from winger to centre forward with equal ease and equal efficiency.

      Iheanacho’s skillset, I don’t think, can fit into such a style.

      If Jose Mourinho should get his Magic back, I think Ihenacho can fit well into his philosophy or the philosophy of a coach like Enrique Sánchez Flores (formally of Watford). Iheanacho will thrive under these coaches because they often deploy 2 attackers (main striker and support striker) who complement each other. Iheanacho has played very well this approach.

      • Ayphillydegreat 4 years ago

        You’re right deo. I think Kelechi’s best position on the field of play is as a supporting striker. He was fantastic from the right wing in the age grade days. But as a professional it seems his best way of making an impact is mostly playing as a surpporting striker in a two man attack.