Kelechi Iheanacho’s Leicester career to date has been what could only be described as, erm, underwhelming.
The former Manchester City man has never really threatened to oust Jamie Vardy as the club’s first-choice centre-forward – but in fairness to him, a prime Sergio Ageuro would struggle to replace a man who has essentially become a club legend.
His role at Leicester has subsequently become the Vardy alternative when he’s injured, or the fella they chuck on with 20 minutes to go when getting beat.
So, why does it have to be one or the other, you ask? Is it that preposterous a suggestion that a Premier League team that isn’t from the either the 90s or Burnley could field two recognised frontmen from the off?
Prior to Leicester’s home clash with Sheffield United, such a proposal would have been scoffed at by most, but the pair’s performance having been afforded a rare 90 minutes together as a partnership has given Brendan Rodgers plenty of food for thought.
From the very first whistle the Blades struggled to deal with the movement and guile of both Vardy and Iheanacho, with both strikers stretching the game and looking to play off the shoulder of the last man.
The support offered by Youri Tielemans and Ayoze Perez from midfield meant there was no need for one of the pair to drop off to link up the play, and not once did they find themselves obstructing each other or making similar runs – it was the performance of a partnership that had been playing regular football together for years.
The decision to field both frontmen from the start paid dividends as the Foxes ran out convincing 5-0 winners, with Iheanacho grabbing himself a hat-trick.
The first two strikes of the Nigerian’s treble were almost carbon copies of each other and they perfectly encapsulated the pair’s performance together.
As soon as either Tielemans or Perez picked up the ball on the half-turn, both Vardy and Iheanacho were on their bikes and looking to run in behind the Sheffield United back line.
The movement offered by the two strikers was almost telepathic, with Iheanacho timing his run beyond the last man to perfection as Vardy showed the quality and the awareness to slide his strike partner through and offer him the simple task of tapping home.
You wouldn’t be a cynic for suggesting Vardy would be a tad disgruntled at the prospect of suddenly becoming chief assist-maker having previously spearheaded the club’s charge towards Premier League glory, but if anything he seemed to take just as much delight in Iheanacho doubling his league tally for the season as he would were it him wheeling away with his arm aloft.
Leicester have had their injury problems this season, with the creative players behind the usually lone frontman and their defence in particular looking threadbare at times.
We’re not suggesting that playing two centre-forwards is the answer to ALL of their problems, but it would mean there wasn’t such a heavy reliance on their floaty creative players and their lack of defensive cover wouldn’t be such a problem if they were just playing ‘we’ll score more than you football’ – and who doesn’t love that!
Leicester’s five-goal haul against the Blades is just the third time they’ve scored five in a league game since Rodgers arrived at the club, and given the performances of both Vardy and Iheanacho as well as the result, it would be incredible if the Foxes boss didn’t consider it a viable option for his side going forward.
Because to us, it seems like a great idea.