Leicester City’s coach, Claude Puel has confirmed reports that the club’s Nigerian attacker, Kelechi Iheanacho was not fit enough for the recent World Cup, as he says the former Manchester City star needs more building up to improve his current physical condition.
Though Iheanacho got his second goal of this summer’s preseason for The Foxes against Valencia on Wednesday, Puel said he only sent the lad on as an impact sub, since the UAE 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup most valuable player is still seeking optimum form.
Puel, though, praised Iheanacho’s mentality in staying alert during the game, despite still being far from full fitness after an extended break caused by his participation at the 2018 World Cup, in which he confessed that he was not fit enough to star for the Super Eagles.
Iheanacho will now have to step up his efforts in training, in order to get another role with The Foxes in their final pre-season friendly on Saturday against Lille Metropole of France.
Iheanacho, who opened scoring for Leicester in Wednesday night’s pre-season friendly against Valencia, was also on target against Udinese last week, and will seek more when they open their English Premier League campaign at Manchester United on August 10.
He will now bank on the encouraging words of his coach, as Puel said he was impressed by Iheanacho’s fighting spirit and the Eagles striker’s good attitude.
Puel stated: “I think he came back with a good mentality, of course he cannot play for a long time at the moment with good fitness levels.
“I’m happy about this, but we needed to make attention and protect them with rotation and to work on their fitness step by step.
“I’m happy about the mentality of the players. They’ve come back with a good spirit and with a fighting spirit. We will see what’s happened.”