By 90Min
December 04, 2017

The arrival of Manchester City's Nigerian hotshot Kelechi Iheanacho at the King Power this summer was met with joy and excitement from all those associated with Leicester City.

The 21-year-old had scored 21 goals in 64 games at the Etihad; averaging a goal every three games. 

However, the so often predatory forward has found goals hard to come by for the Foxes, managing to hit the back of the net just once in a Carabao Cup tie against Leeds. Iheanacho is already onto his second manager with the former Premier League champions, as the club's dismal early season form saw boss Craig Shakespeare replaced with Claude Puel. 

For a forward so highly regarded by those at Manchester City, just why has the Nigerian international been so underwhelming since his £25m move?

There are many obvious answers; he's playing in a team with less quality with chances few and far between. Perhaps the managerial situation has had an impact? But the situation seems more deep rooted than the aforementioned reasons. 

In the early days of his career, Iheanacho operated as an attacking midfielder more often than a forward, a position built on selflessness and keeping an eye open for a defence splitting pass rather than having a prolific eye for goal. At times this season, the Nigerian has been perhaps too selfless in front of goal, a trait that all great strikers shouldn't possess.

Michael Regan/GettyImages

This may be down to nervousness in his first real lucrative venture into the senior footballing world, or may be down to the fact that Iheanacho is simply finding first team opportunities hard to come by at the King Power. 

Furthermore, at Manchester City, the Nigerian had the immense goalscoring talents of Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko to protect him from the brunt of the harsh judgement of fans and media alike should he fail to perform, whereas at Leicester he finds himself under the spotlight as the second most expensive signing in the club's history. 

Undoubtedly, there is a player in there somewhere. 

At just 21 years old, Iheanacho has earned a reputation for being a lethal poacher in the box, and won the 'Golden Ball' award at the U17 World Cup back in 2013 - a prize previously won by the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Toni Kroos. 

Claude Puel and the Leicester squad will have to do their best to nourish a fragile but precocious talent and attempt to reintegrate him into the starting lineup, as for all of his flaws in the infancy of his Foxes career, this is a player trusted by Pep Guardiola to lead the line in a Manchester derby and one who had been tipped for greatness from a young age. 

If anyone can help develop the Nigerian, Puel can. The Frenchman gave Eden Hazard his Lille debut many years ago now, and if he can help Iheanacho reach just half of the Belgian's heady heights, Leicester will have some player on their hands. 

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