‘Promise’ is the middle name of Kelechi Iheanacho and despite his travails at his clubs, the young forward still looks set for a promising career.
It is now distant memory that Iheanacho scored in all four first games of Gernot Rohr beginning with the meaningless AFCON 2017 qualifier against Tanzania in Uyo last year.
A big money-move in the summer from Manchester City, where he was no longer needed, to Leicester City was meant to help establish him in the Premier League.
But it appears that has also not gone according to the script to the concern of Rohr.
He has only scored once for ‘The Foxes’ since he was flown in by a helicopter to sign for the shock Premier League champions.
He is still not guaranteed regular first-team football with manager Claude Puel demanding he needs to improve.
The Super Eagles could offer him better comfort now it seems especially if he were to play alongside roommate and Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi in a 3-5-2 formation, which the Eagles played with telling effect against Argentina in November.
Iheanacho scored a sublime free kick goal on the day, but above all he thoroughly enjoyed himself alongside Iwobi.
It was the same combination that had torn apart home team Zambia in Ndola a year previously.
Armed with a great football brain and a magical left foot, Iheanacho is essentially a midfielder, but in the Premier League he has often been played as top striker with varied successes.
Rohr clearly saw the player’s limitations as a top striker in the ill-fated AFCON 2019 qualifier against South Africa in Uyo and thereafter he had to recall a more orthodox centre-forward Odion Ighalo to lead his attack in his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.
The Super Eagles could offer him better comfort now it seems especially if he were to play alongside roommate and Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi in a 3-5-2 formation
Ighalo repaid the confidence of the national team coach with two top performances against Cameroon, which included the go-ahead goal in the big home win over the African champions.
Despite a difficult time at star-studded Manchester City he still managed 21 goals in 64 appearances to suggest he has goals in his boots as well as the promise he held when he was named MVP of the 2013 FIFA U17 World Cup in Abu Dhabi.
His tally of eight goals in 13 appearances for the Eagles further buttresses this point.
21 years old
Scored in the first four matches Gernot Rohr was in charge of
Well-taken free kick goal sparked off the Eagles remarkable comeback against Argentina in November