Thursday, December 9, 2021

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Rodgers purrs over ‘phenomenal’ Iheanacho after another match-winning display

Red-hot Kelechi Iheanacho drew praise from Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers after his superb display in Monday’s 2-1 Premier League win over Crystal Palace.

The 24-year-old set up Leicester’s equaliser for Timothy Castagne, then smashed home a sublime 80th-minute winner to complete the turnaround at King Power Stadium.

Rodgers started Iheanacho and Jamie Vardy together only eight times last season but injuries have forced him to opt for a strike pairing in the last 10 games.

And the Nigerian forward has responded emphatically, scoring 12 goals from the last nine games, and Rodgers described his form as “incredible”.

“The top priority for me as a coach is helping players to develop,” Rodgers told the BBC.

“It’s been difficult for ‘Kele’ because of the style we normally played which was one striker – Vardy.

“We had to change it with injuries, he’s come in and been exceptional. Not just his goals, he’s so happy to work hard for the team and his quality is phenomenal.”

Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel said Iheanacho had all the qualities to be a top striker.

“He’s so good at the particular one where he shifts it and then puts it through the defender’s legs and wrong-foots the goalkeeper,” Schmeichel told Sky Sports.

“He’s a nightmare in training.”

Vardy, who has 15 goals overall this season, has been Leicester’s top-scorer in the last five campaigns but faces stiff competition this time from Iheanacho (17).

“As a team we work for each other, it doesn’t matter who scores,” Iheanacho told the BBC. “There’s so much to improve in games so I’ll keep going, doing my best.”

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