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Why this £10.8m-rated man can force his way into Leicester’s starting XI – opinion

“This would be heartbreak for Everton. Iheanacho. Iheanacho… IHEANACHOOO! Goal for Leicester! Win for Leicester! Can you believe it? Bedlam! Bedlam! “

“Iheanacho has been fantastic since he’s come on, Martin. He’s changed this game” Martin Tyler and Jamie Carragher

Almost as if time stood still, Kelechi Iheanacho feints to send Mason Holgate packing before slotting the ball home in acres of space.

The Nigerian had only been on the pitch 28 minutes; his first 28 minutes of league action this season, and he completely sculpted the game into Leicester’s favour – initially teeing Jamie Vardy up at the far post to finish off a brilliant triangular passing play before producing a moment of class to send the King Power rocking.

Leicester’s £25 million acquisition might not have had the best start to life in the East Midlands last season, but could this campaign reignite the former Manchester City man’s flame?

The 23-year-old replaced Ayoze Pérez on the wing at the weekend before moulding the formation into a variant of a 4-1-3-2; with Iheanacho rotating with the other midfielders to cut open Everton’s defence and create more incisive passing lanes.

As a second striker playing just off Vardy, the world’s most expensive Nigerian provides further counter attacking support, as shown in their quick breaks against Everton for both goals. This double-headed spear of an attack, with Iheanacho sporadically dropping back to fit into the midfield rotational cycle, makes the forward a lethal weapon for Brendan Rodgers to blitz even the most stubborn of defences – creating the ever-present option for either striker to square the ball in a two-on-one goalscoring situation.

Additionally, Iheanacho, valued at £10.8m (Transfermarkt), could just-as-well perform as a consistent midfielder as to not rock the boat by forcing Rodgers to change up his tactical set-up.

The left-footer flourishes with short passing plays and close-quarters dribbling, creating almost a quasi-false nine link between the midfielders and Vardy with the ability to carry the ball and slide a short pass for the Foxes striker to run on to.

Whilst Kelechi Iheanacho may need more integrating into Rodgers’ fruitful setup, much like how he has done with other young prospects in the side like Harvey Barnes and Çağlar Söyüncü, the Nigerian might bring another explosive attacking threat into Leicester’s bawdy arsenal – possibly replacing Pérez who has only been periodically clinical in a Leicester City shirt.

An attack consisting of the ever-prolific Jamie Vardy and a red-hot Iheanacho begs the question; is there a defence in the league that can nullify Leicester’s offence?

Harry Robinson

A 19-year-old journalism student at the University of Sheffield, Harry has been writing and interviewing sports personalities since the age of 15. He has interviewed the likes of Roberto Martinez, Kevin Davies and Bryan Robson and has been writing for 90MAAT since June 2018.

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Premier League Table

# Team MP W D L P
1 Liverpool 23 22 1 0 67
2 Manchester City 24 16 3 5 51
3 Leicester City 24 15 3 6 48
4 Chelsea 24 12 4 8 40
5 Manchester United 24 9 7 8 34
6 Tottenham Hotspur 24 9 7 8 34
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 24 8 10 6 34
8 Sheffield United 24 8 9 7 33
9 Southampton 24 9 4 11 31
10 Arsenal 24 6 12 6 30
11 Crystal Palace 24 7 9 8 30
12 Everton 24 8 6 10 30
13 Burnley 24 9 3 12 30
14 Newcastle United 24 8 6 10 30
15 Brighton & Hov… 24 6 7 11 25
16 Aston Villa 24 7 4 13 25
17 West Ham United 23 6 5 12 23
18 AFC Bournemouth 24 6 5 13 23
19 Watford 24 5 8 11 23
20 Norwich City 24 4 5 15 17

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