Leicester City are two losses away from relegation from the Premier League and team captain Jonny Evans has charged his teammates with winning the all-important games.
Nigeria national football team players Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho are facing a stint in the EFL Championship should the Foxes be unable to secure a safety ticket by May 28.
Iheanacho is currently recovering from an injury he suffered in mid-April while Ndidi has been reintegrated into the team after his lengthy spell on the sidelines. Both men agree with Evans, however, and look to end the season on a strong note.
Ndidi Absence, Iheanacho Decision Kept Leicester Down, Fans Believe
Since their return to the top flight in 2014/15 and their miraculous run up to the 2015/16 title, Leicester City have fallen short of many expectations.
Not once have they broken into the top four since their title win but they played enough exciting football for fans to see them as a threat to the old order.
They recorded famous results against the big six in all of the seasons after their title win to give credence to this belief held by fans. Super Eagles men Ndidi and Iheanacho were both instrumental to many of these victories. However, both players could not participate in their efforts this season and the Foxes are genuinely worse for it.
In the case of Ndidi, it is a long term injury which first happened in 2021. He lost a bit of form but as he was picking up the pace, he returned to the physiotherapy room in 2022.
Wilfred Ndidi works hard in midfield but can’t prevent Leicester City from falling to a home PL defeat against Liverpool. pic.twitter.com/ecrZmxiCo5
— Home of Nigerian Football (@EaglesTrackerNG) May 15, 2023
With Iheanacho, it was a case of former manager Brendan Rodgers being stubborn in his decision to keep “Senior Man” away from the starting lineup despite several evidences that playing him frequently could have made a world of difference for the team.
The AFCON 2023 hopefuls have both done enough to convince the world of their talents and will likely find new clubs should Leicester fail to remain in England's top flight beyond this season. However, the club's fans will rue the missed opportunity that both players could have helped them tackle.
Evans Urges Teammates to Play With Determination
Former Manchester United defender Jonny Evans has now charged his team, including Ndidi, who is expected to make the next squad list for the AFCON qualifiers 2023, to not be afraid of taking on West Ham United and Newcastle United because their Premier League survival depends on both games.
Evans particularly asked that his teammates be up and doing against Newcastle, who have the added incentive of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League with a win against them. Evans made these comments after Liverpool thrashed them in their last game to compound their relegation woes.
“We’ve got two more games left, and we have to put in the same effort we showed tonight, the same commitment,” Evans said, as quoted by Leicester Mercury. “We’ve got a tough game away at Newcastle and then the last home game of the season, but we’ll be competing like we did tonight.”
Based on current form, this might be a tall order for the Foxes. Gary Neville certainly believes that, as he explicitly stated that the Foxes are going down at the end of the season.
🗣️ "I think that's the end of them tonight." 📉@GNev2 & @Carra23 both agree that Leicester City will be relegated pic.twitter.com/iShxzNht8E
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) May 15, 2023
Ndidi and Iheanacho are important to the Nigeria Super Eagles and a relegation will not bode well for their prospects. It will not look good on their CVs, either.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 weeks ago