Kelechi Iheanacho rewarded with first Nigeria call-up

Kelechi Iheanacho rewarded with first Nigeria call-up

The 19-year-old forward’s form has not gone unnoticed – as he’s been called up to the Nigerian senior side for the first time in his young footballing career.

Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho has been rewarded for his excellent form of late, with his first call-up for the Nigerian senior side.

The 19-year-old, who scored one and assisted two during the Citizens‘ 5-1 rout over Crystal Palace on Wednesday night, is certainly a player to look out for in the forseeable future. His talent and quality has not gone unnoticed by Nigeria’s current boss Sunday Oliseh – who admitted he has been “following” Kelechi’s progress in Manchester, and the forward has been consequently rewarded.

Kelechi receives maiden senior call-up

Kelechi is one of four Premier League players included in Oliseh’s 23-man squad to face Swaziland in their 2018 World Cup qualifying fixture in mid-November, with Watford forward Odion Ighalo, Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel and Arsenal‘s Alex Iwobi also being selected.

His club manager, Manuel Pellegrini, had this to say after Kelechi’s impressive display in their Capital One Cup win: “I think that he has an important future at this club, he is a player that is growing everyday, playing and improving. Working hard in training with important players – I am happy for him, because he deserves it.”

Iheanacho hoping for more opportunities to shine

Having praised his African teammates Wilfried Bony and Yaya Touré for helping him settle into the first-team properly, saying they are like “big brothers” to him, Kelechi admits it is difficult to break into the City side as an attack-minded player with the likes of Sergio Agüero and Bony to contend with for starting places.

However, he maintains the belief that he just has to “work hard in training everyday”, as he believes that he can “go all the way” and that hopefully, he’ll be able to do “great things” at City in the coming years – because he has the quality to prove himself when given opportunities to do so.


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