Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho has won March’s Premier League Player of the Month award after scoring five goals in three appearances.
The Nigerian rose to the fore in the absence of the injured James Maddison and Harvey Barnes, netting a hat-trick in the 5-0 drubbing of Sheffield United following goals against Brighton and Burnley.
His vital contributions helped Brendan Rodgers’ side maintain their momentum as they enter the business end of the season, with Champions League qualification very much in sight.
Leicester lie in 3rd place, seven points clear of West Ham United in 5th and one point behind Manchester United in 2nd, to whom defeat last season meant they missed out on Europe’s elite competition on the final day.
Iheanacho, who for four years has played second fiddle to leading marksman Jamie Vardy, is dispelling any concerns that history may repeat itself with this recent hot streak.
The 24-year-old has long been regarded as a promising talent since graduating from the academy at Manchester City but now appears to be finally coming of age at Leicester, stepping up when his team have needed him most.
His sumptuous volley in the 1-1 draw at Burnley quelled any initial alarm caused by Matej Vydra’s fourth-minute opener, while an accomplished finish to level the scores at The Amex demonstrated his composure in a game that saw Brighton dominate in the first-half.
His job at Bramall Lane was rather more simple as a managerless Sheffield United fell to pieces, but a week later he would prove himself against quality opposition as his brace sunk Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Leicester City host league leaders Manchester City on Saturday, another significant occasion for Iheanacho who will no doubt be looking to send a message to his former employers. He will be praying his goalscoring touch does not desert him.