Brendan Rodgers has given reasons why Kelechi Iheanacho is yet to start a game for Leicester this season, reports Leicester Mercury.
Rodgers has so far left Iheanacho out of the club’s 11 this season, despite his terrific run of form at the end of the last campaign that saw him finish as top scorer.
He is making an impact this term too. In his five games off the bench, he scored a penalty he earned in the Community Shield, helped set up the winner at Norwich, and made City much more threatening in their search for an equaliser against Manchester City at the weekend.
The 24-year-old was brought into the side last season after Harvey Barnes’ campaign-ending knee injury, Rodgers changing to a 3-4-1-2 shape.
This season, City have reverted to a 4-2-3-1 system, and so if Rodgers wanted to include Iheanacho but retain the formation, it is likely one of Jamie Vardy or James Maddison would have to be left out.
Asked if it was becoming more difficult to leave Iheanacho out of the starting line-up, Rodgers said: “I’m just really happy with the contribution. I see him every day, I know his strengths and I know the areas he can improve on.
“What he’s doing is he’s making an impact, and I think that’s how it started for him here, I was bringing him into games and he was doing well. It’s nice now that people have the confidence in him that he’s going to contribute.
“There will be enough opportunities over the course of the season for him to start games. It’s really about the team, I’m not so much worried about the individual, I need to pick a team that I feel is going to win, and if I need to change a game, I have a bench to be able to do that, and that’s what we have.
“I’m always supportive of the individual player, but the team is always more important. You can’t play with six attacking players.
“He’s a very important player for us, whether he comes into the game or whether he starts.”