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Time to put some respect to that name – Kelechi

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Leicester City’s Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English FA Cup. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / POOL / AFP)


As a youthful prospect, Kelechi Iheanacho was among the players backed to have a great career, and Manchester City snapped him up in 2015. He was however released in 2017, to join Leicester City with very little hype and no fanfare. Nobody imagined he would make it at Leicester City, and he was only regarded a good back up to the then England international Jamie Vardy.

His chance however came in the 2021 campaign, three and a half years later, and this was when Vardy was injured. Kelechi had the chance to show not just his attacking instincts but predatory ones as well, and for two months now he can’t stop scoring. He has just fired Leicester City to the FA Cup final, his goal coming as Vardy goes through a two – month spell without a goal. His lone strike in the FA Cup semi final against Southampton on Sunday at Wembley ensured the Foxes get to grace the competition’s final for the first time since 1969.

Iheanacho recently joined the small list of Nigerians to have scored Premier league hat tricks and yet he can go for another record in the FA Cup. The winner against Southampton was his 14 th FA Cup goal since playing the first game in the competition in 2016. No other player
has scored that much in the competition in the last five years and in March he surpassed Didier Drogba’s 12 goals to become the highest-scoring African in the FA Cup.

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He summed it easily in the post match comments “the FA Cup loves me, and I love the FA Cup.”

The understudy has stepped up and is taking over the steering wheel, if the 10 goals he’s scored in the last seven matches is anything to go by. He now has 15 goals in all competitions this season and can go on to have the best season.

Next up for Iheanacho will be a league game against West Bromwich Albion, and while the Baggies have been doing well lately, an Iheanacho-inspired Leicester side will give them a real run for their money.

Regarding the magnitude of the game, with Leicester in the race for a top four finish and West Brom battling relegation, it will be among the top followed matches listed by bookmakers. SportyTrader analyses the best of them with Bet365, 1xbet and Mega Pari among the top betting sites expected to carry the game.

In March, Iheanacho was feted as the Premier League Player of the Month. In April, though his team has lost the two league matches already played, the 24-year old has already scored two goals – the brace against West Ham United as the team lost 3-2. He still has two league
matches in the month to try and win the gong for a second straight time and by what we’ve seen, it will be very hard to write him off. After the West Bromwich Albion game, Leicester will renew rivalry with Southampton in the league, in the last game of April.

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