Since both Didier Drogba and Samual Eto moved in to the latter stages of their careers, there has been a question as to who the next big striker from Africa will be. The player I am going to talk about today Kelechi Iheancho, who is showing he has the potential to be that next big star.
The purchase of Iheancho is a result of very scouting by Manchester City. He was purchased from Taye Academy for a reported 75k, which seems a bargain for a young player of his quality. I guess the price reflects that he has come direct from Nigeria to Manchester City.
One of the most impressive facts about Iheanacho is that he has managed to come through at Manchester City, a team that has unlimited funds and a wealth of quality players. Despite this he has managed to come from know where, to becoming an important member of the first team. What makes this an even bigger achievement is that the other four strikers on Manchester City’s books are all seasoned internationals (Aguero, Boni, Dzeko and Jovetic).
As a player Iheanacho is blessed with excellent pace and very good physical ability. He also has excellent vision and a good eye for goal. With these qualities evident at such a young age it is clear to see this player has all that is needed to become a very good player.
Of course even before Iheanacho’s first team he was destined for great things. It was in just 2013 that Iheanacho was given the award of the CAF Most Promising Talent of the year.
At international level it has also been a rapid rise through the ranks. He scored an impressive 8 goals in 7 games for the Nigeria U17s. After just two games for the Nigeria U20s, Iheanacho has now managed to gain two full international caps for Nigeria.
At Manchester City Iheanacho will have played more than 20 games in his break through season. Although he has yet to score the volumes he did at youth level, this can be partially explained by the fact he has had to play off the striker or on the wing at times. It has to be said though, that any experience at a club like Manchester City will help any player develop their game.
In summary I believe Manchester City have a real gem in Kelechi Iheanacho. Most young players need to go out on loan but I believe he will be just fine developing where he is. Although there is an unlimited pot at Manchester City there is a chance that the strikers around him could move on this summer. Real Madrid have reportedly been after Aguero for years, Jovotic has not made an impact since his move so he will probably be sold, Decko has also found his chances limited and Boni has failed to follow-up on the form that saw him move to Manchester City from Swansea. When you consider all of these options and the fact that Manchester City will this season see Pep Guardiola take over at the Etihad, things can not be better for Iheanacho to show the new manager exactly what he is about. Iheanacho really could go on to be the next idol of African football and also the Premier League for many years.