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Rodgers Hails ‘Ultimate Professional’ Iheanacho

Rodgers Hails ‘Ultimate Professional’ Iheanacho

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has heaped plaudits on Kelechi Iheanacho for his professional conduct in training despite his bit part role in the team.

Iheanacho has struggled for regular playing time at the club since his arrival from Manchester City in 2017.

And Rodgers his impressed with the behaviour of the Nigerian in training and his understanding of the role he plays in support of Jamie Vardy

“He’s been the ultimate professional,” Rodgers declared.

“He’s never once come knocking on my door saying: ‘I should be playing more,’ or ‘I should be in the team’

“He’s a great team player who understands his position and his role, and if ever I need to pull him in and speak to him and chat, I’ll do that.

“He enjoys his life as a football player and that’s what I see every day.

“No (there’s no ego), not at all. He thinks about the team.

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“I know strikers want to score goals and play games, that’s what they’re judged on. But I’ve emphasised his importance to the squad, whether he’s playing or not playing.”

Making cameos here and there is not ideal for building confidence as a striker and Iheanacho does seem to be a player who has bursts of good form.

Overall, though, Rodgers is pleased with his contribution. His strike against Brighton was his seventh of the season, meaning he is now level with Vardy for non-penalty goals this campaign.

In total over the last two seasons, he has averaged a goal or assist every 100 minutes he is on the pitch. For Vardy, it’s one goal involvement every 116 minutes.

Rodgers added: “I have empathy for Kel’s role, it’s not an easy role for him or any striker who’s coming in when you have someone of Jamie’s quality in front of them.

“But I think he’s been great, he’s had little spells when his confidence has been down, but we’ve always encouraged him and he’s been a joy to work with.

“He’s been a great understudy for us and, in the main, when he’s asked, he always gives his all and produces. I’ve been really pleased with his contribution.”

However, a more difficult test of his patience awaits the 24 year old Nigerian if the Foxes bring in a striker as they hope to, with Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard among the targets.

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COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 1
  • Ikeben 5 months ago

    Kelechi don’t be confused with too much praising yet still keept you as a backup striker. There is time for everything in Life. Time to be a backup and time to be the main man. The time has come for you to break out of Vardy’s shadow and seek your own glory, probably in another club or League. You have endured enough in Leciester, you have it in you to become a great player and so you have to take the bull by the horn.

    Except you are able to break in to Lecister city starting 11 even with all their stars then you can stay with them anything short of that go and hunt for a club that needs your service and be the great player you are destined to be.