'Fantastic' Iheanacho at his maximum everyday - Leicester City's Rodgers full of praise for Nigerian

Kelechi Iheanacho, Brendan Rodgers - Leicester City
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The Nigeria forward was handed a contract extension on Saturday as a reward for his recent goalscoring form for the Foxes

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers was full of praise for Kelechi Iheanacho’s personality after he signed a contract extension that will keep him at the King Power Stadium until 2024.

The Super Eagles striker penned a new deal on Saturday, a day after he became the fourth Nigerian player to win the Premier League Player of the Month award.

Although he could not find the back of the net in the Foxes’ 2-0 loss to Manchester City on Saturday, Rodgers appraised Iheanacho’s work ethics\ in training.

Prior to Saturday's defeat, the 24-year-old scored seven goals in his last four outings for Leicester City.

“Since he has come into the team he has just been fantastic. I am delighted for him because he is such a conscientious guy, such an honest guy, and as you can see now, a very talented player,” Rodgers told Sky Sports.

"If you think of his journey, he has been the young player at Manchester City after being the player of the tournament at the Under-17 World Cup. He breaks in, scores some goals, but there are gifted players ahead of him so it is difficult to get that game time.

"He then makes a move to Leicester where he has Jamie Vardy here, one of the top strikers in the Premier League. Plus, you have the adaptation of leaving Manchester City and coming to another club so that is always going to take that bit of time.

"I know when I came here that there were probably times when there were grumbles if he was playing but he has very quickly won over people. That is just through hard work, resilience and talent. What you are seeing is a young player at the top of his game."

Despite his restricted playing time earlier this season, when he started just two Premier League matches before 2021, Rodgers disclosed his admiration for Iheanacho’s personality and his dedication.

The Northern Irish manager continued: "He is not reserved. He is very charismatic. He genuinely comes in with a smile on his face every day. He loves his football. That is a great starting point. He is at his maximum every day. He works hard every day.

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"I cannot remember him missing a day of training since I have been here. He helps our centre-backs to become better at their jobs because he is really aggressive with them.

"That has not always been enough to see him start but he is a player who has a great attitude. He is very much a team player. Some guys, especially strikers, they can maybe just think of themselves and be individualistic. Soloists. He is very much a team player.

"All the guys love him. Now what you are starting to see is all his qualities. How he receives the ball. His strength. His finishing ability. His anticipation as a striker. You are seeing all of these things now because he is playing with confidence. I am delighted for him."

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