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Puel: Why Iheanacho Is Not Starting Games For Leicester City

Puel: Why Iheanacho Is Not Starting Games For Leicester City

Leicester City, manager Claude Puel, has revealed the major reasons why Kelechi Iheanacho has been a bit part player at the club so far this season, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.

The Frenchman claims the Nigerian forward’s inability to play from the sides rules him out of contention for starting berths with Jamie Vardy remaining the club’s first choice striker.


Puel admitted that it has been difficult for him leaving out Islam Slimani, Iheanacho, Ahmed Musa and Leonardo Ulloa either on the substitutes’ bench or in the stands for games.

Iheanacho, who only signed from Manchester City in the summer in a £25 million deal, has made only two English Premier League starts and seven substitute appearances for the Foxes this season while his compatriot, Musa is yet to feature in the EPL this term prompting talks over his future at the club.

Zenith Ziva

“Kelechi had an injury and after, for the moment, we have competition,” Puel told Leicester City Mercury.

“I am happy with Jamie for example. Kelechi or other players cannot play on the side.

“It is difficult. Jamie is very strong and can play game after game. I hope we can give game time to other players during this busy period.

“I think it is important also to have a good influence on the game with good combinations and good understanding between the players in midfield and Okazaki can play in this position also.

“Time will tell. The window is not open, we will see. For the moment, we just look at all these games. We need all the players.

“It’s difficult for them (Slimani, Iheanacho, Musa and Ulloa), but for me also to manage all these players because we have six strikers, so there is no place for all the players.

“I try to respect them. Kelechi arrived this season and we will see. With all these games in this busy period, we will see.

“We can play 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 or 4-2-3-1. The system is not important.

“But we have a lot of strikers with different qualities. We cannot play with all the players at the same time.”

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  • Mek him come back come play for Akwa United

  • The earlier we know this the better for us… Racism still exist. These white will not just allow one boy com in and domineer establish players… That’s what’s happening to ihenacho now.

    • Bad mentality,, which coach wouldn’t want a player that scores for him to play…the truth is iheanacho is out of form… At man city he played with the best he managed to score goals..now he can’t prove his worth at Leicester city.. He’s not good enough…he should make use of any given opportunity to prove himself that he hasn’t been able to prove.. Stop this local sentiments.

    • Terina Francis u are good. Very very matured in reasoning.

    • My brother francis, u have spoken my mind.Besides that he opted to join ateam which does not suit his natural style of play.The guy could have joined another team

    • Terina Francis..proving your worth depends on the team or environment you find yourself in,the case of several players in past such as the young Paul Pogba of man United,Gerrard Pique same of United,Samuel Eto.oo of Madrid Juniors,Kelvin De Bryun and so on.so talking about proving his worth is out of it,I think he made the wrong move from the start by joining Manchester city instead of arsenal or even Fc Porto,where he would have gotten all the opportunity in this world to excel.my people take it or leave it,there are sentiments in football. It’s not easy to get the nods in a big team as a young player especially as a black lad,it’s easier for the senior black players than the younger ones in a big team.so I will stand with Keyness Leo Mwenelupembe submission,Kelechi made the wrong move even from the start.

  • If he performed very well in the world Cup clubs will bed for him,,,, he just needs to keep on training and stay focused

  • So Musa cannot play on the flanks abi, you think you’re doing me, you’ll go the way of Shakespeare!

  • Iheanachor is getting fat.

  • That’s a bigoted manager speaking. Why buy a player you can’t use? And to have six of them? Except if they had imposed them on him

  • Iheanacho is not good enough to start games.lets us be at once logical in our thinking

  • The problem is all coaches are playing Kelechi out of position. Kelechi is a creative midfielder not a striker as most coaches he has played under believe. Play him behind the strikers and give him consistent game time and see the best of Kelechi.

  • Ifeanyi 4 years ago

    I think his time will still come in that club because they already have strikers they’re working with before his arrival he should exercise patience a bit and be ready to sized the opportunity when it comes.

  • play him behind a striker u we see the best of Iheanacho if watch 2013 u-17 world cup u we know what am talking about

  • James-Kakawa,Babatunde 4 years ago

    Eloka has spoken my mind! Kelechi to me is indeed a supporting striker in the mould of Sampson siasia. He is not an out right striker whom should be put in front of all the players as a lone or a top striker, he is a creative player with a nach for scoring goals.he should be put in his right position to enable him display his full potentials.

    • Agbiase Immanuel 4 years ago

      Terna Francis my friend and brother you nailed it. Kelechi is experiencing a deep a form and we must admit it. He haa no players around him to help him grow, and the fact he came 8n as a big player(expensive) may also be playing a role given the others may not see him aa a developing player but complete one.
      He should learn from Indidi who took his chance as soon as it. After all the age gap between them isn’t so wide. He must stop seeing himself as a small boy growing but should take responsibility as one who has come of age because coming in at that vost that’s how everyone sees him.

  • Oga u need more playing time or no World Cup for you oo

  • Bishop Joseph Santus Okpara 4 years ago

    Why some people talking like they’ve got all the answers to everything? They’re biased coaches and because of Africa players going to play for their own national teams, white coaches do not want to use them and they preferred using a steady players for more exposure just in case! Kelechi is a good players and very matured indeed, his former coach in Manchester City said it, that Kelechi Iheanacho was an important player for Manchester City but when the man left and the new coach came for Manchester City,and his first impression he created was to asked Kelechi Iheanacho to change his agent and give his own brother the job and when Kelechi refused he tried to reduced the Nigerian Super Eagles player to nobody! He did the same thing to Yaya Toure. There’s too much politics with white coaches against our footballers in UK! I lived in UK for many years and I understood their soccer politics by their European football coaches against African players. Didn’t you saw what the Chelsea coach did to Mikel John Obi, what can you say about that too? Mikel had concluded every planed with Coach Samson Siasia to play and lead Nigeria to the world game even before this Chelsea coach was contracted but as soon as his contract was confirmed and finalized,the Chelsea coach called Captain Mikel Obi and asked him to pull out from the Nigerian squads and of course, Mike ignored him and went ahead and played for Nigeria which he won bronze medal.What next that followed? This Coach punishment to John Mikel Obi has never been heard before in the history of football in whole of this world!

  • kelechi has a record in England that the great players never had. Top scorers did not score a goal after 94 mins in epl, karibe ojigiwa became the most expensive player in bundesliga n sat on the bench between 1996 to 2000 for levekusen

  • Marvins 4 years ago

    what are u pple saying,hit the name on the head.Kelechi is not good enough
    u pple stop saying Racism,what about ndid,Moses,Iwobi,are they not black.
    he should step up his game like moses did,and Iwobi

  • Bishop Joseph Santus Okpara 4 years ago

    I am wondering how one could stepped up his game when the individual wasn’t getting selected or given opportunities to be playing in a competitive matches! Someone will now ask whether Kelechi Iheanacho doesn’t train with the rest of his teammates! Even if he does.Who makes the decisions on who will play in a match? The same biased coaches! Ndidi is allowed to play now but anytime this coach gets a midfielder who can play a little closer like Ndidi is playing, I bet you,this very coach of Leicester City must surely drops Ndidi and go for someone else’s of his race, and you fans must remember that this Leicester City coach didn’t brought any of these Super Eagles players in Leicester organizations rather he met them in the squad when the coach was hired!I played in Reading Berkshire but they frustrated my ambitions to play soccer as a young man.I knew exactly what I am talking about! Although all coaches aren’t the same but most coaches are bias against African players,period!