Leicester City midfielder, Kelechi Iheanacho has admitted he was truly relieved and excited to score for The Foxes in Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup 4-0 win against Luton Town, as it has helped to boost his morale for a return to relevance at King Power Stadium.
With his emotions falling to an all-time low, after being snubbed severally by Leicester’s coach, Brendan Rodgers for the club’s first six matches this season in the English Premier League, Iheanacho was happy to get back into the fray on Tuesday and eventually cap the night with a goal in his side’s victory at Kenilworth Road.
Iheanacho failed to feature in Leicester’s first six English Premier League matches of the season, but was finally rewarded with game time after working hard in training, such that Tuesday’s tie against the Championship outfit ended his run of 28 competitive matches in which he failed to score for The Foxes.
It was also an end to a 368-day goal drought for the 22-year-old ex-Columbus Crew of America and Mancheste4r City of England star, whose last competitive game for Leicester was on May 6, when The Foxes lost to Manchester City last season, while his last goal came against Huddersfield Town on September 22, 2018 in the EPL.
Although he still had to get off The Foxes’ bench to enact his first goal in over four months for club and country, Iheanacho made the best of his 71st minute entry to the away fixture for his side, as he hit target four minutes to the end of regulation time and sealed the fourth goal of the encounter, to put an icing on his side’s cruise into the fourth round.
Incidentally, fellow-Nigerian, Wilfred Onyinyen Ndidi was replaced by Hamza Choudhury in the 77th minute of play, leaving all focus on his compatriot, Iheanacho, who had gone on six minutes earlier in place of Ayoze Perez.
Iheanacho’s joy doubled after Leicester’s assistant coach, Chris Davies heaped praises on him for making the most of his first appearance with the club this season, by scoring after only spending few minutes on the pitch and being largely out of the squad for competitive matches.
The assistant gaffer, however, pointed out that Ihenaacho has maintained a very good sense of belonging and great attitude all along, as he continues working hard in training and staying very focused, despite not getting playing time over a long period.
Davies submitted: ”It is great for Kelechi because he has been outside of the squad, let alone the team, but he’s been working hard in training, the manager has given him an opportunity and he’s not been on the pitch for long but he’s made an impact. He pressed the game well, he showed a good hunger, a good appetite, and it’s an instinctive finish to chip the goalkeeper.”