Nigeria international forward, Kelechi Iheanacho, could see himself go down the pecking order at Leicester City after the Premier League club completed the signing of Ayoze Perez from Newcastle United for a fee believed to be around £30 million (₦14 billion).
Perez has signed a four year deal with the Foxes and makes him manager Brendan Rodgers’ second signing of the summer transfer window after James Justin arrived from Luton Town.
After completing the move, Perez said: “The club wants to keep growing as much as they can and that’s something I like.”
The striker added: “I spoke with the manager and that was important. That made me feel very comfortable about the decision to come here.”
Perez had been linked with a return to his homeland after saying last season “to go back to your country and play for a big team and enjoy La Liga, would be something great for my career”.
But he has had a change of heart apparently, making the move to a team which won the league title in 2016 and is experiencing a bit of a resurgence under Rodgers.
The former Liverpool boss arrived Leicester City from Scottish giants Celtic in February 2019 and guided the club to four wins in his first five Premier League matches in charge.
Ironically, that run of four straight wins in the league was ended in a 1-0 home defeat to Newcastle United in mid April thanks to a 32nd minute Ayoze Perez goal.
Perez’s 12 goals in the 2018/19 league season, his best ever goals return since joining Newcastle from Tenerife for £1.5 million back in 2014.
The 25-year-old scored 48 times for the north east club in 195 appearances and played all but one of Newcastle’s league games last season, finishing as top scorer in the last two campaigns.
His exit from St. James’ Park comes after that of manager, Rafael Benitez, at the end of his contract, with the tactician signing for Chinese Super League side, Dalian Yifang on July 2.
Do you see Perez’s arrival at the King Power Stadium greatly affecting Iheanacho’s chances of making the Leicester City first team on a regular basis?
Perez’s arrival at Leicester City makes it six forwards at Rodgers’ disposal, with former England international Jamie Vardy leading the pack while Iheanacho was second choice.
Other forwards are Demarai Gray, Fousseni Diabate, and Algerian duo Rachid Ghezzal and Islam Slimani, who spent the 2018/19 season on loan in Turkey.