Iheanacho dumps U-23 Eagles for Manchester City
Coach Samson Siasia will have to continue with his Rio Olympics plans without one of Nigeria’s brightest talents Kelechi Iheanacho who has opted to stay back for his English Premier League side Manchester City pre-season.
There had been doubts about Iheanacho’s participation at the tournament but he has now opted to go with his club after he fully understood the need to show new manager Pep Guardiola what he is capable of, according to the Manchester Evening News.
Guardiola starts at City on July 1 and he has made it clear every available player must be part of pre-season.
Reports suggested that Man city hierarchy spoke at length to Iheanacho before turning down Nigeria’s request for him to join the squad and, while sure to be disappointed, he has accepted their reasoning.
Last season was a breakthrough for the 19-year-old at City, he was a breath of fresh air in a strike force limited by Sergio Aguero’s injury troubles and Wilfried Bony’s unsuitability.
Scoring 14 goals in a debut season in which he only made 11 starts is exceptional, but it was his eye for a pass to set up others which singled him out as a real talent.
Not only that the teenager has to adapt to the demands of a new manager and probably a new system but he faces stiffer competition as Guardiola plans to bring in Schalke winger Leroy Sane and Celta Vigo’s Nolito.