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TT Battle: Shinji Okazaki vs Kelechi Iheanacho

According to Sky Sports, Leicester City striker Shinji Okazaki is looking for a way out of the King Power this month due to a lack of game time.

The outlet reports Huddersfield Town are just one of a number of Premier League clubs that are interested in signing the 32-year-old, though the Foxes remain reluctant to sell, fearing his departure will leave a massive hole in the squad.

Okazaki, alongside Kelechi Iheanacho, provides centre-forward cover for Leicester’s talisman Jamie Vardy in a role the Japan international has seemingly grown tired of.

Shinji Okazaki

After playing a prominent and heroic role in Leicester’s miraculous 2015/16 Premier League title win, Okazaki has gone on to find minutes limited under the various managers the club have had since Claudio Ranieri’s sacking, hence his desire to now leave the King Power.

And should he get his wish granted, his next team could be about to get a very important player.

At Leicester, Okazaki does not have the greatest of goal-scoring records, especially compared to his time with FSV Mainz in the Bundesliga. But when he does play, he often brings much to the side with his pace and energy.

Up front with Vardy, the former Mainz man was a nuisance and proved tricky to defend against in Leicester’s title-winning campaign.

Ultimately, it was a very successful formula, making Okazaki potentially a very clever signing this January for any manager who is keen on using a two-striker system.

TT Grade: C+

Kelechi Iheanacho

Like Okazaki, Iheanacho, another Vardy deputy, has been far from prolific during his time at the King Power, which is surprising.

Iheanacho’s biggest strengths are his poaching and finishing in general, something often seen when he was a Manchester City player.

Yet at Leicester, that killer instinct has barely been present. And with the 22-year-old not being the kind of centre-forward who can connect play to devastating effect or dribble past multiple defenders, there is not much else he offers when he is not scoring.

All things considered, for £25m (BBC Sport), Iheanacho has been a very underwhelming signing.

TT Grade: D+

TT Verdict:

Claude Puel clearly wants to keep hold of Okazaki this January but, with multiple Premier League clubs said to be keen on bringing in the ex-VfB Stuttgart player as suggested by Sky Sports, an exit looks likely with his contract also set to expire in the summer.

The Leicester boss, though, would be silly not to give Okazaki enough of an incentive to stay. In this moment of time, he is the better striker compared to Iheanacho, thus the more suitable alternative to Vardy.

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