October, 1996. His first international club was English club Manchester City.
He has made a couple of appearances for Manchester City U-21 team as well as
the Nigeria squad that won the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup and the Nigeria U-20
team at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
|Kelechi in Nigerian colors|
Some Nigerian football players have dominated the scene, Jay
Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu and Celestine Babayaro just to mention a few. Iheanacho
is a wonder kid and the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup was his birthing ground.
Kelechi Promise Iheanacho is at Manchester City, one of the biggest football
clubs in the world and the question is if he can make it there amidst the array
of stars the side has to offer? Not forgetting Ruben Soriano has joined the
side on loan.
has been called up to the Manchester City senior squad for the 2015-16 season,
he will be the third striker as Sergio Aguero and sometimes Wilfred Bony will
be the arrow head in City’s attack this season but which 18 year old player is
afforded the luxury to learn from the best money can buy in the footballing
world? With Aguero, Silva, Nasri, Yaya and Bony there to tutor the young chap,
he is sure to rapidly develop and become a world class player. The Confederation of African Football named
him the Most Promising Talent of the Year for 2013 at the CAF Awards. In 2014,
Iheanacho signed for City. Before the 2014–15 season, Manchester City visited
the USA on a pre-season tour. Though still not formally a Manchester City
player, Iheanacho joined up with the squad. He played and scored in the first
match of the tour, a 4–1 win against Sporting Kansas City and scored again against
AC Milan in a 5-1 win. After the conclusion of the tour, Manchester City
arranged for Iheanacho to train with Columbus Crew until mid-October. The
coaching crew were beginning to see the reason he was adored by the Nigerian
to play in England until February 2015. He made his debut at under-19 level in
a UEFA Youth League match against Schalke 04, but was injured after only 11
minutes. After his recovery, he began to
represent Manchester City at both youth and under-21 level in the latter part
of the season. He played in the FA Youth Cup final, where he scored, but ended
on the losing side after Chelsea claimed a 5–2 aggregate victory. The following
week he scored the only goal as Manchester City beat Porto in the final of the
2014–15 Premier League International Cup. In July 2015, he was also included in
City’s pre-season tour team in Australia. On the tour, he set up the first goal
for Raheem Sterling against Roma and scored the second goal in the win against
Roma in the 2015 International Champions Cup.
matchday squad for the first time in a competitive fixture, the beginning of
what we hope is a very fruitful season for him even though he remained an
unused subtitute in the 3–0 win at West Bromwich Albion. Iheanacho has
represented Nigeria at youth levels from under-13 upwards. His first experience
of a major international tournament was the 2013 African U-17 Championship in
Morocco. For Iheanacho, the highlight was a hat-trick in a win against
Botswana. He dedicated his goals to his mother, who died two months before the
tournament. Nigeria reached the final of the competition, where they were
defeated on penalties by Ivory Coast. Iheanacho was the second highest goalscorer of
the tournament, behind team-mate Success Isaac.
|Kelechi Iheanacho promises to be a revelation at City|
World Cup, where he won the “Golden Ball” awarded to the player of
the tournament. Nigeria won that competition, with Iheanacho scoring six
times, including a goal in the final, and providing seven assists. In the run-up to the 2014 African Nations
Championship Iheanacho trained with the senior Nigeria squad, but was released
from the squad in order to travel to England to sign with Manchester City. City
will be expecting the wonder-kid to replicate that type of form this season as
they gun for the Barclays Premier League and we are all hoping he steps up to
the plate just like Kanu Nwankwo did.
promises to be our biggest export, with a keen eye for goal, electric pace,
excellent passing and the ability to play anywhere in the attacking third,
Kelechi is sure to become a regular for City pretty soon.