It’s hard not to be impressed by Leicester City’s rise to supremacy this season, but Harrison Panayiotou is evidence that the club’s success is much more widespread.
The Under-21 Foxes’ striker, who is currently on-loan to Raith Rovers in the Scottish Championship, has already topped the goalscoring prowess of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, after scoring again for his native Saint Kitts and Nevis on Saturday.
Panayiotou’s goal, which was his fifth in just seven appearances for the self-governed Caribbean island, means that he has become Leicester City’s all-time international record goalscorer, leaving the likes of Vardy, Mahrez and even Gary Lineker in his wake.
The self-assured, yet understated striker, is also testament that Claudio Ranieri’s talented squad are unlikely to be just a one-hit wonder, with more highly promising players ready to ply their trade at the top level next season. And who better to spearhead the next strike-force generation than Panayiotou.
Despite his sporting allocate, Panayiotou remains humble about his achievements to date. He said: “This season has been a tremendous learning curve at Leicester City, as well as playing in the Scottish Championship with Raith Rovers.
“I was very grateful to get the opportunity to go on loan to Raith, as they’re a club very much in the ascendancy, and they play an equally physical and fast moving game. I’ve been impressed by the standard of football in the Scottish Championship, which will help me when I return to Leicester next month.
“While it’s great to gain success on the international stage for your country, you cannot beat playing week-in week-out for your club. The passion and buzz you get from being at Leicester is unbelievable, and you notice it more when you have been away for short period of time.
“Everyone from the players, the management team, to those who work behind the scenes, are inspired to achieve. They’re all highly motivated, which is the perfect environment for any young footballer,” he added.
After making his Rovers’ debut against Glasgow Rangers last month, Panayiotou has since played seven more times for the Kirkcadly-based side, as the club has all but guaranteed itself one of the four play-off places to the Scottish Premier League.
The prolific Saint Kitts and Nevis marksman, who was named Leicester City U-21s’ Player of the Year last season, is now intent on returning to the King Power Stadium all the stronger having played away from home since late January.
In the meantime, Panayiotou will again lead the line for Saint Kitts and Nevis on Tuesday when they take on Antigua and Barbuda in the next qualifying stage of the Caribbean Cup.