Skip to main content

Rodgers backs Iheanacho to return to goalscoring form at Leicester next season

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers insists Kelechi Iheanacho is part of his plans despite his poor form this season.

Rodgers has backed the 22-year-old to rediscover his goalscoring touch and plans to work with the striker during pre-season training this summer.

Iheanacho, a £25million signing from Manchester City in August 2017, has scored just twice during the current campaign, with his last strike coming in September.

He spurned a late guilt-edged opportunity to end his goal drought at the Etihad Stadium against his former club on Monday night as Leicester lost 1-0.

However, Rodgers sees potential in Iheanacho and he is not giving up on the Nigerian just yet.

“Yes he is (part of my plans),” said Rodgers. “He’s just had his first season adapting to a new club. Then when you’re playing or challenging one of the best strikers in the league in Jamie Vardy, it’s difficult.

“Kel will come back into pre-season, gain more confidence and hopefully come out of that with a renewed motivation to show his qualities.”

Iheanacho has yet to start a match since Rodgers became manager in February, coming on as a substitute in six of the Northern Irishman’s nine games in charge.

“I’ve been impressed with him. His appetite, his work, and then in games where he has come on, he’s impacted the game. He’s done very well, and nearly did again,” said Rodgers.

“He knows he should score, in big games you don’t get many chances. He’s a fantastic young player and hopefully he can show that over his time at Leicester.”

Leicester conclude their Premier League campaign against Chelsea at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.

Right-back Danny Simpson and striker Shinji Okazaki, title winners with the Foxes in 2015-16, will hope for farewell appearances, with both set to leave the club when their contracts expire in the summer.

However, Rodgers was keen to point out that the match is not a dead rubber.

“I’m not really sentimental, I am in certain moments, but both those players’ contributions are well documented,” he said.

“I’m sure whatever happens on Sunday, they will get support and be celebrated. If one or two play, they will always be appreciated. We’ll see what the weekend brings.

“The season doesn’t finish until the final whistle against Chelsea. We have a responsibility to the supporters to fight to the end, and we have a responsibility to ourselves.”