Nigeria coach, Gernot Rohr believes Kelechi Iheanacho is suffering from ‘lack of self-confidence’.
The forward who started his senior international career brightly, scoring seven goals in 11 appearances has failed to find the net for the three-time African champions since November 2017.
During the last international break, Iheanacho missed a gilt-edged chance to give the Super Eagles a lead against South Africa in a crucial 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers tie.
His performance for his Premier League club has also not been impressive having failed to score in his last eight games across all competitions.
However, the German tactician has backed the former Manchester City prodigy to rediscover his confidence for Leicester and make an impact for the Super Eagles in Cameroon.
“We have all seen how Iheanacho has been playing for the national team. He is a good player and his fighting spirit is exceptional,” Rohr told media.
“But of late, his form has dropped. So also has his self-confidence, which is very low. And when you lack self-confidence you cannot score goals.
“He missed what would have been our first goal in South Africa. But I believe it is a temporary set-back .
“Iheanacho has a chance to regain his confidence with his club and play a big role for us in Cameroon.”
Iheanacho was a 70th-minute substitute in Saturday’s Premier League fixture against Brighton and Hove Albion, helping Leicester secure a 1-1 draw after winning a late penalty that was converted by strike partner Jamie Vardy.
The Eagles gaffer said he is hoping Victor Moses reverse his decision in August to quit the national team.
The 27-year-old decided to call time on his international career in order to be able to focus fully on his Chelsea career and his young family as well as to allow the next generation of Super Eagle stars the opportunity to step up and to flourish.
Rohr hurriedly went in search of his replacement and handed a call-up to Bordeaux winger Samuel Kalu and also tested Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze in a recent friendly against Uganda.
‘’He told me, I was surprised after the World Cup that he wanted to stop. I tried to convince him that it was not the moment for him to stop, I didn’t succeed,’’ Rohr said at a media parley organized by Sports Editors.
‘’Even his agent told me now he has to focus on the club and I hope he will have the opportunity to play again in his club or in another one.
‘’The transfer window will open in January, so perhaps he can change club and find a club where he’ll play and he can change again his mind.
‘’He’s only 27 years old, he’s too young to stop his international career.’’
In 2013, Moses was a key player as Nigeria won their third Africa Cup of Nations title, scoring twice, and was named to the Team of the Tournament.