Kelechi Iheanacho can become “one of the best strikers in the world” under Brendan Rodgers, former Celtic and Nigeria defender Efe Ambrose has boldly claimed.
A prodigious talent in his teens, Iheanacho has failed to fulfil his potential since moving to Leicester City – the 22-year-old is on a nine-month goal drought having last scored in a 3-1 win over Huddersfield last September.
But Ambrose, who spent five years at Celtic Park, including one season under Rodgers, believes the City manager has the ability to help Iheanacho rediscover his form and develop into the top striker he once promised to become.
“I know Brendan Rodgers very well and he is a manager that can develop Iheanacho into one of the best strikers in the world,” Ambrose stated.
“However, the most important thing is for him to keep working hard. Once he can show Rodgers commitment, zeal, determination and passion to excel, he will not be looked down upon at Leicester City.
“I have worked under Rodgers and he is such a manager who understands football so well. So I will advise him to stay at Leicester because over there, he has a man who can develop him into a fearless striker he used to be.”
Iheanacho will have a full pre-season under Rodgers after he was cut from Nigeria’s squad for the Africa Cup of Nations, which begins in Egypt this week.
While there are no suggestions Iheanacho is disgruntled with his exclusion, Ambrose urged the former Manchester City striker to keep his head up.
“Not making the team to Egypt is not the end of the world, he is still a young lad and still has a lot of years ahead of him,” Ambrose said.
“I know how disappointed he would feel but the most important thing is how he manages himself and bounce back to reckoning.
“He should shake the pains off and cheer the Super Eagles to victory in Egypt because he is still part of the team, only that the coach has picked those who are good enough to win the Africa Cup of Nations.
“With hard work and focus he will be back in the team again because I believe he has a big potential. So rather than moan over his Nations Cup miss, this is the time to show the national team coaches what he can do.”