Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has explained why Kelechi Iheanacho has been struggling for regular playing time this season.
Iheanacho, City’s top scorer last season, has played just 54 minutes of football in their past six games in all competitions, with three of those spent watching from the substitutes’ bench.
Before that, he played some part in every fixture bar the away game at Legia Warsaw in which he was halted at the Polish border because of mismatching documents.
The switch to a 4-2-3-1 system has been the big factor in his limited pitch-time, with Rodgers suggesting he is best as part of a strike pairing.
Rodgers has said he prefers City to play with four at the back, and so to then field two frontmen, he would either have to pick a flat 4-4-2 or a midfield diamond.The former was used at Crystal Palace in October and has not been seen since.
Iheanacho will get his share of game-time, Rodgers has said, but equally the manager admits finding a spot for him is not of great concern right now, while City’s attack is consistently finding the net.
“I think we’ve said it before: he’s best in a two, that’s clear, that’s when he’s been really good,” Rodgers said.
“He’s training well, he’s a great professional, Kels, and he knows he’s going to feature over the course of this period at some point.”
Iheanacho scored 16 goals between February and May last season, usually playing alongside Jamie Vardy, to finish as the club’s top scorer.
This season he has three goals and five assists, averaging a goal involvement every 104 minutes, a better rate than Vardy (one goal involvement every 133 minutes) but not as good as Daka (one every 91 minutes).