Chris Sutton has poured some high praise on Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho after his display against Sheffield United at the weekend.
The 24-year-old managed to bag a hat-trick against the Blades, only the second of his professional career after one for Manchester City in the FA Cup back in 2016.
Having only started 36 games for Leicester in the Premier League since he signed for the club in the summer of 2017, a consistent run of games – something that has been difficult with the likes of Jamie Vardy in front of him – has always been an issue for the Nigerian, who is valued at £13.5m on Transfermarkt.
But having finally broken into the team in recent weeks, starting six of the last eight and scoring six in the process, as heard on the BBC 5 Live Football Daily Podcast, Sutton thinks that this recent spell could prove to be a great audition to eventually take the 34-year-old’s spot in the long run.
He said: “I have to say, yesterday, he was unplayable at times. And I’m not just talking about his goals, but his link-up, his understanding with Vardy and Perez. And this is probably what he needed, a run of games to really kick him into life. And that certainly bodes well for Brendan Rodgers and for Leicester City because he may be the one now.
“Vardy is going to go – eventually he’s going to be too old, and he is irreplaceable. But he has done himself, Iheanacho, the world of good with his performances of late, and maybe there’s something now in Brendan Rodgers’ mind where he thinks ‘I absolutely can trust him.’”
Is there more to come from Kelechi Iheanacho?
TIF Thoughts on Chris Sutton’s comments about Kelechi Iheanacho replacing Jamie Vardy at Leicester City…
Sutton is right to suggest that Leicester do need to find their Vardy replacement at some point given his age, and at this point, Iheanacho is doing his cause plenty of favours by putting himself in the reckoning. And it will be no more than he’ll have deserved after years of having to play second fiddle at not only Leicester but also at Manchester City.
And it would give Leicester a boost because it saves them having to look in the transfer market to find someone, meaning they can spend money somewhere else in the squad.