Nigeria U15 coach Danladi Nasidi has revealed to All Nigeria Soccer that Manchester City tried to sign the Nigerian international (he has 4 goals in 7 games for Nigeria) in 2010 but were blocked by the Nigeria Football Federation.
“Manchester City came for Kelechi Iheanacho in 2010 after he won the top scorer award in a tournament we participated in the United Kingdom. He has been my highest goalscorer since the U13.
“About 20 clubs participated in the competition, City wanted to sign most of these players but the NFF refused to reach an agreement.
“I have been told two teams are interested in signing Kelechi now. He is doing fine in Man City, I want him to stay and grow with City before moving to another club.
“Kelechi is not a number nine, he doesn’t like defenders to mark him. He is a supporting striker, sometimes I played him as a winger, from the left.
“I also played him in the midfield, he takes shots because he is free in midfield. If you put him as a top striker, he won’t be able to shoot.
“I think he did well against Algeria. The attention was on him as a number nine and he carried the defenders away from their positions and that’s why Moses scored two goals."
For Manchester City he has scored 3 goals and had 3 assists in 8 Premier League games, although he has only played 285 minutes so scores a goal every 95 minutes. In total across 12 games he has played 538 minutes scoring 4 goals with the 3 assists, a goal every 135 minutes.
Iheanacho is under contract until 2021 and Pep Guardiola has told the striker he will struggle for game time, an example of why it is not always best for a youngster to go to a rich club. He joked the coach may need to be changed for the Nigerian to play more.
“Change the coach maybe! Of course he deserves to play, but there are many, many others who deserve to play too.
“Our job is so uncomfortable for these kind of decisions. Normally when these guys don’t train good, when they are not nice guys with his team-mates, it doesn’t matter, but that is not the case with Kele.
“My advice is keep going, keep fighting, sooner or later everything is coming back, and of course he’s going to have his minutes. Until now he played good, but in the big teams sometimes that happens. You can play just 11 players and that’s all.”