New Contract Kelechi Iheanacho

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Jeff

Administrator
Staff member
Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho has signed a new deal with the Club, keeping him at King Power Stadium until at least 2024.

The 24-year-old is enjoying the best form of his Leicester City career, having scored seven times in his last four appearances for the Foxes and picking up the Premier League’s Player of the Month award for March.

The Nigeria international joined the Foxes from Manchester City in August 2017 and has gone on to feature 117 times in all competitions, scoring 32 goals – 12 of which have come in the current campaign.

Iheanacho told LCFC.com: “I can’t express how I’m feeling. I’m excited, I’m happy, I’m overwhelmed! It’s a great moment and I’m happy that Leicester City gave me a new contract.

“It’s been a great time here. It’s not been easy, but there’s a lot of people here that are good people, great people to work with. They are nice people and they make me feel comfortable and welcome since I came in.

“It’s been really great being here. It’s like a family. I’m happy being here and hopefully I can stay here many more years.”


Born in Imo, Nigeria, Iheanacho represented Taye Academy in Owerri as a youth, before joining Manchester City’s Academy in January 2015.

He made 46 appearances for the Citizens in all competitions, finding the net 12 times, before signing for Leicester City in August 2017.

During his first season at the Club, the striker featured for City 28 times in all competitions, scoring eight goals, including a brace against Fleetwood Town and Peterborough United in the FA Cup, and also went on to represent his country at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

In 2018/19, he made 35 appearances for City, scoring twice, while he scored 10 goals in 26 appearances for the Foxes last season, helping them to secure a fifth-place finish in the Premier League and UEFA Europa League football the following campaign.

Iheanacho has represented Nigeria at Under-17 and Under-20 level, and has made 31 senior appearances for his country, scoring nine goals.
 

M17TT C

Well-Known Member
Even before his recent good run we should have done this but that also makes this a bit sweeter too.

Now we just need another top class winger and we'll have a very dangerous squad assuming we can keep everyone else.
 

Micky

Well-Known Member
Does anyone have a feeling that he still won't ever be the real deal?
 

Brown Nose

Well-Known Member
Does anyone have a feeling that he still won't ever be the real deal?

I wouldn't be at all surprised if we sold Iheanacho this summer, despite this new contract. The contract gives us, and him, security, but there are two issues.

1. I'm still convinced that BR doesn't trust him. He just doesn't respond to him like he does other players in the squad. I also don't think BR really rates Praet for the same reasons. Something to do with them not really doing exactly what BR wants tactically.

2. He isn't a starter for us and I don't think he ever will be. He's a back up player. When we need a new striker to replace Vardy, it will just never be Iheanacho. For Iheanacho, surely he wants to be a main striker at some point? He is better than a career spent largely on the bench.

This summer could be the ideal time to cash in. His stock is up and there are a few middle ranking PL sides that I could see taking him as their main striker. I like Iheanacho and always have, but if someone offered a deal where we'd get our money back on him, I'd snap their hands off.
 

mabrah

Well-Known Member
Does anyone have a feeling that he still won't ever be the real deal?
Brave question, almost the elephant in the room.

So I'll start my being positive; I want him to be, and I reckon he has shown something that can be built on. Does he deceive to flatter? I dunno, but he has looked so clueless and inept on occasions that it's understandable that you could conclude that he is just that - clueless and inept. Yet he manages to score and get these (comparatively) impressive stats. Maybe goals are the only stat/perception that should concern us?

He's a funny/complicated bloke I reckon. Or so it seems. A tender plant that maybe needs things 'just right' to thrive. I dunno. As a player, I haven't quite worked him out, where he feels happiest. With our current squad (when fully fit), I don't quite see how and where to include him to get him at his best. We're dropping other more consistent players, or changing shape, to accommodate him. I'm not sure how feasible that is longer term - or is he only ever going to be a plan b option?

Will he ever be "the real deal"? I dunno. I want it but I wouldn't hold my breath. My jury's out on him again.
 

Feriol

Well-Known Member
Iheanacho needs to play in a front 2 to be effective, this is working for us at the moment but I don't think we'll be sticking with that system when everyone is fit.

It's possible he could still learn to be effective as a lone striker, but he would need to play more games in that role to learn, which we can't afford with our ambitions.

Long term I think he is a plan B at best for those reasons, maybe he knows this and has accepted it for now?

If we were to stick with a front 2 though he would be hard to improve on in his current form. Aside from his goals, his movement and link-up play have been top class recently.
 

Payne74

Well-Known Member
Some of Iheanachos performances have been brilliant recently playing as a 2 up top, with Maddison and Barnes to come back there is an opportunity to be able to mix Vardy, Iheanacho, Maddison and Barnes as the front 2 in different games, if BR can find play a system to do this then it's only really a right winger we need to find in the summer.
 

sparky79

Well-Known Member
The level of performance he's turned in when we really needed it has been exceptional. Glad they have recognised that and rewarded it. Even if it does also probably protect us if somebody comes in to try and buy him.
If we were trying to sign a 24yo with c50 goals across Prem, Champs League, Europe and FA Cup every fan would be telling us to stick £40m or £50m on them. The fact that we've got a player like that in our ranks is a great problem for Rodgers to deal with as he plans for next season.
I'd say we still need to bring in a further striker though particularly if we have Champions League to contend with.
 

mabrah

Well-Known Member
Madison would slot into this system quite easily. It's Barnes that wouldn't fit.
There'd be room on the sub's bench for him. And therein is the dilemma; who do you leave out and how then does it fit together? Not saying it can't work but it brings with it some necessary changes. As alluded to earlier, I don't think BR is sold on a system (as a preferred/starting option) that includes Nacho.
 

glyn

Well-Known Member
we’ve been saying all season that we don’t have attacking options, so this is what Nacho has given us recently. Hopefully another season in Europe coming up and whichever competition were in it will mean plenty of games and very rarely will BR have the luxury to pick a first XI week in week out. Choosing between Madders, Nacho and Barnes just won’t be an issue.
 

fitz

Well-Known Member
Fortunately this season we seem to be adapting systems to suit players available. Last season we made some odd set ups which suited nobody at times. Nacho is a great option to have if we opt for 2 or as a sub. When it comes to having a lone striker to eventually replace Vardy is where i think it'll be difficult. Players were available last summer but i still think the likes of Watkins would move somewhere guaranteeing a starting place.
 

popillius

Well-Known Member
I don't think he'll ever be quite good enough. He'll have good patches and good performances but they will be punctuated by really poor ones too often. If we have real aspirations to become a regular top 6 side and do well in Europe then I can't see how a player as inconsistent and as reliant on that proverbial arm around the shoulder, will ever be truly reliable.

I'd take what we paid for him at the drop of a hat.
 

FOX Franks

Well-Known Member
I don't think he'll ever be quite good enough. He'll have good patches and good performances but they will be punctuated by really poor ones too often. If we have real aspirations to become a regular top 6 side and do well in Europe then I can't see how a player as inconsistent and as reliant on that proverbial arm around the shoulder, will ever be truly reliable.

I'd take what we paid for him at the drop of a hat.
Nah, I think that’s unfair based on the last few weeks. He’s a young player and he’s shown he’s maturing and starting to achieve some consistency.
He deserves the chances he’s getting now. In all fairness - there’s no way we can buy a senior striker who’s going to bang in 20 a season guaranteed. We simply don’t have the cash.
 

popillius

Well-Known Member
Nah, I think that’s unfair based on the last few weeks. He’s a young player and he’s shown he’s maturing and starting to achieve some consistency.
He deserves the chances he’s getting now. In all fairness - there’s no way we can buy a senior striker who’s going to bang in 20 a season guaranteed. We simply don’t have the cash.
We shall see. I'm far less hopeful than you and many others but time will tell.
 
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