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Many Were Quick To Write Iheanacho Off – Ndidi

Emmanuel Egobiambu  
Updated April 8, 2021
Iheanacho netted five times in three EPL games. Photo: AFP

 

Leicester City midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi has hailed his compatriot, Kelechi Iheanacho’s resurgence, but said the former Manchester City man was unfairly criticised after previously finding himself on the fringes for the Foxes. 

The former U-17 World Cup winner was snubbed by Nigerian coach, Gernot Rohr for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) where the Super Eagles won bronze.

A recent turn of fortune has, however, seen the 24-year-old winning the Premier League Player of the Month award for March 2021. He scored seven goals in four matches for Brendan Rogers’ side during that period but Ndidi says he is not surprised by Iheanacho’s current exploits.

“I am very happy for him because he’s doing wonderfully well now and everyone can see,” the former Genk man told BBC Sport Africa. “It’s just sad that when he needed encouragement in the past few years many were quick to write him off, but thankfully some of these people have now turned around to praise him. That’s life.”

Following his revival at the King Power Stadium which included a brace to send Manchester United out of the FA Cup, Iheanacho was handed a starting role for Nigeria’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against the Benin Republic and Lesotho.

READ ALSO: Iheanacho Beats Harry Kane, Others To EPL Player Of The Month Award

“I know and hope that he will continue to deliver for us,” Ndidi added. “I never doubted him and I know he will bring more goals and performance that will continue to elevate him.”

Iheanacho’s spectacular form saw him signing a new contract with Leicester that will keep him at the Premier League club until 2024.

Lesotho’s captain (2nd L) Lerotholi Nkau vies fro the ball with Nigerian attacker Kelechi Iheanacho (2nd R) during the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying match between Nigeria and Lesotho at Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos on March 30, 2021. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

 

Since joining the East Midlands side from Manchester City in 2017, the Nigerian striker has played 118 matches with 32 goals and 17 assists to his name.

He made his international debut for the Super Eagles against Swaziland in November 2015 and has scored nine times in 30 matches for the three-time African champions.