How Nigerian duo Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi have helped Leicester City prosper

Two 24-year old Nigerians who joined Leicester in 2017 have been a pivotal part of Foxes' run to the final of FA Cup and hanging on to the third spot in the Premier League so far.

Kelechi Iheanacho has scored 18 goals for Leicester this season; Credit: Twitter/@67Kelechi

Kelechi Iheanaco and Wilfred Ndidi are pivotal parts of this Leicester City team this season. The Nigerian internationals, who joined Leicester in 2017 from Manchester City and Genk, respectively, are having the best season of their top flight careers. Iheanacho has scored 18 goals and provided 5 assists in all competitions so far this season. Leicester have reached the final of the FA Cup and are presently placed third in the Premier League. Brendan Rodgers’ decision to tweak the formation little bit to accommodate Iheanacho alongside Jamie Vardy up front has been a huge success. The English striker is now playing more as a second striker and provider to the Nigerian.

The 24-year old striker scored Leicester’s winner in the semi-final against Southampton. That strike therefore took his tally of goals in the competition to four.

“I didn’t expect the goal to come like it did, but we are in the final now, we are really happy, but we need to get back, work hard and hopefully win the final”. Iheanacho said, as per Leicester Mercury.  

“We did it together, we did it as a team. Without the team, we could not do it, it is not a one-man show.”

Iheanacho’s strength and ability to hold the ball compliments 34-year old Vardy’s pace and relentless running. Thus, the duo have formed a potent strike partnership for Leicester.

“The partnership between me and Jamie is outstanding. His running off the ball is really good, he took the defenders on and cut it back,” he continued.

Ndidi’s impact on Leicester City

Another 24-year old who joined the Foxes in 2017 was Wilfred Ndidi, from Genk. The defensive midfielder is also having a very good season for Leicester in the middle of the park. His defensive prowess and ability to break oppositions play has been crucial for Leicester’s success this season. His presence in the midfield is allowing Youri Tielemans to prosper in the attacking front.

“He’s got the pace, he’s got everything, he’s a great player and hopefully we can work together to win the final.”

The Super Eagles player would be hoping to add to his tally in the final against Chelsea on Saturday and win the title for the Foxes.

According to Whoscored, the Nigerian midfielder averages 3.6 tackles and 2.4 interceptions per game, the most in the League.

Ndidi’s passing has been a weakness but the youngster has improved considerably in that department this season. His pass completion has increased from 75% in the first season to 83%.

He has also improved in his positional play and ability to hold the ball and use of his body strength under Brendan Rodgers.

Ndidi will have crucial role to play in the final on Saturday against the likes of Mason Mount., Timo Werner, N’Golo Kante.

His handling of the Chelsea’s attacking midfield will be crucial to how freely Tielemans can pull the strings in the midfield.




WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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