Chelsea can learn from Leicester City’s treatment of Kelechi Iheanacho

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Manchester City’s Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (L) vies with Chelsea’s English midfielder Mason Mount during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in London on June 25, 2020. (Photo by PAUL CHILDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

As Romelu Lukaku left Chelsea for Everton, the mood within the fanbase was not of despair, but relief. Many thought that the Blues had offloaded a player who couldn’t make it under the intense demands of those in power at Stamford Bridge, all the while getting a good fee in return. Kevin De Bruyne’s exit was looked at in a similar vein, as was Mohamed Salah’s. The echoes of ‘they just weren’t good enough’ reverberated through the fanbase as many tried to rationalize the club’s decision not to be patient with some of its most promising players. Oh, how they’ve come to regret it.

On April 27, Leicester City came from behind to beat Crystal Palace 2-1 in the Premier League. Nigerian forward Kelechi Iheanacho scored the winning goal with 10 minutes left to play until full-time, securing a crucial three points toward the top four race for the Foxes. This was his 17th goal of the season, making him Leicester’s top scorer across all competitions. Those who feared that the Foxes would fail to flourish once club great Jamie Vardy slowed down could once again breathe easy.

Iheanacho’s recent form has inevitably led to the praise of Leicester City’s recruitment process, yet again. It is no great secret that the 2015/16 Premier League winners have mastered the art of transfers, selling players on for great profits before replacing them with seemingly even better ones. However, the reward the club is reaping from Iheanacho’s run is only partly due to their prowess in the recruitment department. A lot more of it can be credited towards the patient approach they took with the player.

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