Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Kelechi Iheanacho is a diamond waiting to be polished

Nigerian international striker Kelechi Iheanacho is reported to be close to joining Leicester City

Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare is hopeful that the club can push through a deal to sign Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho in the near future. A £25million deal has been agreed in principle between the two clubs.

However, contractual and other factors including image rights have reportedly delayed any completion of the deal.

With Everton also touted as a possible summer destination for the striker, the Foxes will hope they can conclude a deal in the near future for the talented forward.

Iheanacho is a promising young player

Kelechi Iheanacho is a promising young player who has spent enough time in the Manchester City squad to know what the Premier League is all about. The Nigerian international may have been a bit-part player at the Etihad Stadium, but in his limited appearances, he has shown flashes of his potential.

The striker has a good goalscoring record for such a young player, despite his limited appearances. The Nigerian star has scored 25 goals and produced 12 assists in 60 appearances for City in all competitions.

At most clubs outside of last season’s top-six, Iheanacho would have seen more first team football, even at 20-years-old. He seems to have all the raw material to become a very good Premier League striker in the future.

He is a rough diamond that is waiting to be polished. That polishing process involves playing in the Premier League week-in week-out to gain valuable experience. First-team football will only help the youngster improve his all-around game.

Manchester City wants a buy-back clause

Another factor that could be delaying the Iheanacho deal is the fact that Manchester City reportedly wants a buy-back clause included in the striker’s sale. This is not a surprise considering the striker’s perceived potential. The buy-back clause is now a popular one with big clubs selling young players.

The Citizens know that Iheanacho will not get regular first-team football at the Etihad Stadium, with the likes of Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus blocking his path to the first team. That would mean Iheanacho sitting on the bench and making only limited appearances for the first-team.

A lack of first-team football may well stunt his development as a player. A buy-back clause is just a glorified loan deal. Everybody wins in the situation. Leicester gets a very good young player and likely, a small profit. Iheanacho gains first-team experience and City get a better player back for the sake of probably £10million more than they sold him.

If Iheanacho is not a success, then City lose absolutely nothing. They received a decent fee for a player that has not developed the way that was expected. City may never choose to activate the buy-back clause and Leicester keeps the striker, whether he is successful or not.

Leicester could be a good move for Iheanacho

Kelechi Iheanacho needs to be playing regular first team football next season. Leicester are a club at mid-level of the Premier League, evens to finish in the top-ten of the English top-flight next season.

A move to the Midlands means he can gain top-flight experience without the scrutiny he would get if he were playing for a top-six club. He can develop, score goals and mature as a player.

Kelechi Iheanacho understandably is raw at Premier League level due to a lack of experience. However, he will add a new dimension to the Foxes attack, with Argentinian striker Leonard Ulloa out-of-favour and doubts over the future of Algerian Islam Slimani.

No doubt, the youngster needs to improve his all-around game to become the player that many see him becoming. However, if managed in the correct manner he has the potential to be a top class striker in the future. For me, City’s loss will definitely be Leicester’s gain.

Can a move to Leicester help Kelechi Iheanacho’s development?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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