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Football Reporting


Leicester City boss Rodgers backs Iheanacho to cover for injured Vardy

The Nigeria international is considered as a replacement for the 34-year-old forward who is set to undergo surgery

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers believes Kelechi Iheanacho will provide the needed cover for the injured Jamie Vardy.

The 34-year-old attacker is set to undergo hernia surgery which will see him sidelined from action for a couple of weeks.

Vardy has been a consistent performer for the King Power Stadium outfit since teaming up with the side in 2012 from Fleetwood Town.

The forward has racked up more than 120 goals for the Foxes and last season he won the Premier League’s Golden Boot.

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Rodgers admitted he would miss the England striker but maintained he had good replacements in Iheanacho and Ayoze Perez.

“We’ve played without Jamie before and scored and won. He’s contributed to the team over these past few weeks even if he hasn’t scored,” Rodgers said in a press conference.

“When you don’t have one of the top strikers in the league, it’s always going to be disappointing. It’s not overly concerning. It’s our best chance of getting him back. Ayoze Perez is a natural striker.

“He doesn’t threaten the backline as quickly as Vardy, but he’s a great finisher. I‘ve got Kels who can offer a threat too.”

Iheanacho has scored three goals and provided four assists in 18 appearances across all competitions but he is yet to open his account in the Premier League this season.

Emile Heskey recently suggested Iheanacho would not be a perfect replacement for Vardy when the forward finally retires or leaves the club.

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The former Leicester City forward advised the King Power Stadium outfit to start looking for the 34-year-old’s replacement.

“When Vardy doesn’t play you see a difference in the way they play and effectiveness of them going forward,” Heskey said.

“They haven’t quite found someone who could actually fill that gap and this is what they are going to be looking at. Can Iheanacho be that next player? I can’t see it so they have to go and get someone else.

“I don’t know if there are any youth players that can actually take up that mantle now and play them in certain games so they have to go and look out for a new Jamie Vardy”.

Leicester City will take on Brentford in a FA Cup fourth-round tie on Sunday and Iheanacho will be expected to lead the attack.

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