Super Eagles head coach, Jose Peseiro has insisted that he is not having any issue with Leicester City forward, Kelechi Iheanacho.
Kelechi Iheanacho is one of the last set of players to join Jose Peseiro’s team in Ivory Coast for the 2023 AFCON after his club, Leicester City confirmed that the forward was struggling to recover from an injury.
He arrived at the camp hours before Super Eagles’s opening match against Equatorial Guinea which ended in a 1-1 draw.
Since then, Iheanacho has been seen training with the rest of the team but has never featured in any of the Eagles’ three group-stage games.
The fact that coach Jose Peseiro continues to sideline him has continued to spark speculation that there was a problem between the player and the coach.
This speculation has been there long before the commencement of the 2023 AFCON on January 13, 2024. Reports claimed that the Portuguese tactician felt insulted by Kelechi Iheanacho after a 2026 World Cup qualifying match in November 2023.
Due to that, Iheanacho who has been one of the team’s most influential players as he had scored or provided at least an assist in each of his last five games for the Eagles, was frozen out of the team.
However, coach Jose Peseiro argued that there is no misunderstanding between him and the former Manchester City star, stressing that he wouldn’t have invited the forward to the team if he had any problem with him.
“If something happened between me and Kelechi, he wouldn’t have come, he would have stayed back at Leicester,” Peseiro said.
“You know about Kelechi’s injury. He was recovering during our camping, he arrived at 4:30 am (on the day of the opener). He started collective work with us one day later. That is the reason.
“When a player recovers, the coach and medical staff need to manage to see if he’s fit or not, ready or not, it’s clear. Easy answer as a coach but for you of course you cannot understand that.
“Kelechi, we believe too much in him and he’s going to play and going to score.”
Peseiro’s comment means that Kelechi Iheanacho stands a chance of playing in the 2023 AFCON round of 16 clash with Cameroon at 9 p.m. later tonight which could bring a lot of bite to an attack that has managed to score just three goals in their last three games.
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