Cape Town - Brendan Rodgers has praised the talent of
striker Kelechi Iheanacho after he scored the equaliser for Leicester City
against Aston Villa.
Since arriving from Manchester City in the summer of 2017 in
a £25 million deal, the striker has failed to justify his price-tag and has
been the subject of criticism from some quarters.
However, this season Iheanacho has six goals in eight
appearances, the latest of which came on Wednesday night after he stepped off
the bench to earn Leicester a 1-1 draw in their Carabao Cup semi-final first
It was the 23-year-old's third goal in the competition and
Rodgers is pleased to see Iheanacho reaping the reward for his hard work.
"He's a big talent," Rodgers said. "He didn't
play a lot of football at Manchester City and it takes a bit of time to adapt.
"But since I've come in his confidence has grown and
grown and we believe in him and believe in his talent and this season he has
really come to the fore.
"He works so hard every day. He's either making a goal
or scoring a goal now and he works so hard in his pressing game. He was a
threat when he came on tonight and I'm delighted for him.
"It was a great finish. He's been so important for us.
You see his confidence all the time whether he starts or comes into the game,
and that's the beauty of him now - he is making an impact in games."
Iheanacho's second-half goal cancelled out Frederic
Guilbert's 28th-minute opener and left the second leg at Villa Park on January
28 delicately poised.
Rodgers said: "Their goalkeeper made some great saves,
Tyrone Mings made some very good blocks, but we eventually got the goal - which
is what we deserved.
"It is perfectly set up for the second leg and we have
the confidence of going there and playing well before, so we look forward to
- TeamTalk Media