Leicester City – Building a Nigerian super link?

The Foxes had an rather bleach campaign in 2017. Their legendary manager Claudio Ranieri was sacked throughout the season, with Craig Shakespeare taking over. Leicester managed to overcome the relegation threats and are currently preparing for another season filled with Premier League-football. Scoring hasn’t been a problem for Leicester, but the club is still eyeing a new striker. Who shares the same nationalities as his colleague forward Ahmed Musa – I am talking about Kelechi Iheanacho.

His current club Manchester City are spending their money like there is no tomorrow, but to finance all those newcomers: others has to leave. Iheanacho is one of those players. If the rumours are correct, City is handling the situation correctly. Kelechi isn’t good enough yet to a be starter for such a huge club, but an player his age needs to play. The rumours are growing that Leicester will buy the Nigerian for roughly €21.000.000, but Manchester City have an buy-back-clause.

Meaning, if Musa were to stay, Leicester could play upfront with two Nigerian strikers. And that possible combination will be exciting to witness, because Ahmed & Kelechi are complementary to each other, but there is one bigger reason than that: Nigeria! Musa (24) and Iheanacho (20) are the future for Nigerian national football team. Former is just 24 years of age, but he already has 64 caps next to his name. In the last Nigerian match (against South-Africa in June), Musa was the player with the most caps. Iheanacho has played ten games, but already netted six times. The all-time top scorer of Nigeria, Rashidi Yekini, scored 37 times in 58 games. A goal tally which shouldn’t be a problem for Kelechi if the proceeds to play like he does. The Nigerian football future is a shiny one, with dozens of talents slowly evolving and rising to the top. Especially players such as Iwobi, Moses Simon and of course Iheanacho.

Latter started his career rather rapidly and the expectations were going through the roof. I personally was also very impressed and thought that the possibility of Iheanacho becoming a starter at Manchester City was rapidly increasing. But then Kelechi got hit with the same downwards spiral every young talent goes through. He started underperforming in the majority of the games and his manager Guardiola started using him less and less. The competition is fierce at such a big club and there is no room and time for a talent to gain confidence and self-esteem. He did succeed in one thing: surpassing Bony in the picking order. It used to be: Aguero, Bony, Iheanacho. Latter managed to climb over Bony, who then left the club temporarily for Stoke City. It now seems that both Africans will leave Manchester for a new experience. Bony is 28-years old and wants to play, while Kelechi needs to play if he wants to keep evolving in the player everyone expects him to become.

A temporary move away is the best decision and Leicester seems like a match made in heaven. The Foxes were shocking the world with their football, but the natural decline kicked in and are now looking for resurrection. Just like Iheanacho.

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