Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho has been “unfairly criticised” at times and he will just get better and better, according to Wilfred Ndidi.
Iheanacho joined Manchester City in 2014 and he made his debut during the 2015/16 season. He scored 21 times from 64 outings for them before leaving in 2017.
Leicester saw enough from him that tempted them to splash out £25m for the forward ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.
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Iheanacho has struggled during most of his time with the Foxes as he has played second fiddle to Jamie Vardy.
But the Nigerian forward has come into his own this season. He has six goals from his last five outings in all competitions.
The striker was named as the Premier League’s Player of the Month for March and he has been given a new contract.
Ndidi has told BBC Sport that Iheanacho’s talent was never in doubt:
“Kelechi’s talent was never in doubt, but as it is in life people love to criticise others when they are down.
“He was unfairly criticised and judged by different people. This is someone I have known from our youth days at the under-17s. I know his quality, so it’s not a fluke that he is producing his best football again.
“I am very happy for him because he’s doing wonderfully well now and everyone can see.
“It’s just sad that when he needed encouragement in the past few years many were quick to write him off. But thankfully some of these people have now turned around to praise him. That’s life.
“He’s a happy guy and Kelechi is only now enjoying a deserving reward for his tireless hard work.
“When you get a rhythm of games and the support of your coach, teammates and fans it can only get better.
“This latest chapter is going to give him the belief and confidence that he is a really important player for his club and country.
“I know and hope that he will continue to deliver for us. I never doubted him and I know he will bring more goals and performance that will continue to elevate him.”