“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?