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How this forgotten talent has emerged as the main man in Leicester’s top-four charge

The contrast in the attacking output of Kelechi Iheanacho since February this year compared to his Leicester career before that month is truly staggering.

Having joined Leicester from Manchester City in the summer of 2017 in a £25 million deal, he managed to score just nine league goals in 71 league games before the start of this season. Despite only scoring his first league goal on February 3rd, he has managed 10 league goals in 20 appearances this season, as well as 17 goals in 33 games in all competitions. Since February, he has scored more league goals than any other player in the Premier League.

This tally has made him Leicester’s top scorer this season, the first season since 2014/15 that their top scorer may not be Jamie Vardy, and his goals have put Leicester into a favourable position to achieve Champions League football.

From backup to main man

The turning point for Kelechi Iheanacho has been an injury-forced formation change that has result in him partnering with Jamie Vardy upfront. The pair started only eight games last season as manager Brendan Rodgers preferred a system with one main striker.

However, an injury to James Maddison in February forced him to find a system that would fit Vardy and Iheanacho, and since then Iheanacho has managed to score 14 goals in 14 games. Only Harry Kane (18) has been involved in more goals since then than Iheanacho (15).

His teammates at Leicester have always maintained that he has had the talent to perform like this, but the dominance of Vardy and the subsequent lack of consistent minutes played has meant that we had only seen a tiny part of the potential that Iheanacho has.

Now he is their main man, and Vardy is just part of the supporting cast as Leicester strive for a Champions League place next season.

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Premier League Table

# Team MP W D L P
1 Manchester City 35 25 5 5 80
2 Manchester United 35 20 10 5 70
3 Leicester City 36 20 6 10 66
4 Chelsea 36 18 10 8 64
5 West Ham United 35 17 7 11 58
6 Liverpool 34 16 9 9 57
7 Tottenham Hotspur 35 16 8 11 56
8 Arsenal 36 16 7 13 55
9 Everton 34 16 7 11 55
10 Leeds United 35 15 5 15 50
11 Aston Villa 34 14 6 14 48
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 35 12 9 14 45
13 Crystal Palace 35 11 8 16 41
14 Southampton 35 11 7 17 40
15 Burnley 35 10 9 16 39
16 Newcastle United 35 10 9 16 39
17 Brighton & Hov… 35 8 13 14 37
18 Fulham 35 5 12 18 27
19 West Bromwich Albion 35 5 11 19 26
20 Sheffield United 35 5 2 28 17

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