Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho has admitted he used to idolise Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney growing up as a child in Nigeria.
The 20-year-old is regarded as one of City’s most promising prospects after scoring 20 goals in his 54 appearances for the club, many of those off the bench. And despite City having a number of top strikers over the years, from teammate Sergio Aguero to Carlos Tevez, the Nigeria international idolised forwards from City’s biggest rivals growing up.
Iheanacho admitted he looked up to current United skipper Rooney as a youngster as well as iconic African striker Didier Drogba when he was at Chelsea.
Iheanacho told the Premier League’s official website: “I think I was watching Didier Drogba and his team at Chelsea, and Wayne Rooney at Manchester United as well.
“They are great players that I am looking up to as well, pick up lessons from them and put in my football in the Premier League.”
Iheanacho’s position as Aguero’s back up at City could be under threat with the arrival of fellow young striker, 19-year-old Gabriel Jesus from Brazilian side Palmeiras.
The Nigerian will hope to make his 15th league appearance of the season tomorrow against Everton at Goodison Park, though he has started only five times.
He has scored eight times so far this campaign, the last coming in City’s 3-0 win at Hull City. The 20-year-old has twice won the Confederation of African Football’s Most Promising Talent of the Year award, in 2013 and 2016.