The Nigeria international spent three years with the Citizens but it could have gone differently if he had had his way
Super Eagles striker Kelechi Iheanacho has provided more details about his stunning transfer to Premier League champions Manchester City eight years ago.
Kelechi Iheanacho burst into public consciousness after playing a key role as Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets beat all comers to win the 2013 FIFA U17 World Cup.
A move to Europe was next on the agenda of the exciting teenager but even he was shocked when Manchester City emerged as the front-runner for his signature.
Iheanacho’s first instinct was to reject any offer from the wealthy Premier League club as he had no guarantee that he could ever make it into the first-team picture at the Etihad.
The Leicester City forward recalls that it took the intervention and blessings of his father for him to change his decision and sign on the dotted lines for the Citizens.
“I didn’t believe that it was going to happen,” Iheanacho told LCFC when describing his feelings upon hearing the news that the Manchester club were interested in signing him.
“After the Under-17s [World Cup] I was looking at going to other teams in Europe.
“But when they said I was going to Manchester City, I was surprised and saying: ‘How can I go there to that massive team? Am I going to play?’ I said that I wouldn’t go and that they should take me to a smaller team.
“However, my father said to me that it doesn’t matter where I go, I know how to play football and that will get through there. So, I believed in him, he blessed me and I went to Man City.”
Iheanacho joined Manchester City in 2014 after the English side paid over one million euros for his services.
The Nigeria international was a consistent goalscorer for the Citizens after making his first-team debut, netting 21 goals and assisting eight others in 64 appearances. He left the Etihad to team up with Leicester City in 2017 for €27.7m.