Manchester City wishes Golden Boy, Kelechi Iheanacho, happy birthday as he turns 19

By Toby Prince

kelechi iheanachoOne of Nigeria’s biggest and brightest football talents, Kelechi Iheanacho, was born in Owerri, Imo State on October 3, 1996.

And his club, Manchester City, was one of the first to wish him a happy birthday on Saturday.

We all remember the fuss generated last year when Yaya Toure’s agent claimed the Côte d’Ivoire captain was leaving the club because they did not give him a birthday cake.

As at the time of writing this report, no cake has yet been presented to Iheanacho who has represented Nigeria at youth levels from under-13 upwards.

His breakthrough came at the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup in UAE where he emerged as the player of the tournament after his six goals and seven assists led the country to success.

His exploits at the tourney earned him a lucrative move to English giants, Manchester City, from Taye Academy in 2014.

He featured predominately for City’s Under-21 side last term and was promoted to the mainstream at the start of the 2015/16 season becoming the club’s third choice striker behind Sergio Aguero and Wilfred Bony.

In just three cameo appearances this season, Iheanacho has scored once – a goal that handed the citizens all three points against Crystal Palace.

His transition from the youth rank has earned him accolades from none other than City boss, Manuel Pellegrini, who has shown so much belief and faith in the young lad.

Pellegrini said after his match winning goal against Palace: “This year he started pre-season with the squad and will be a very important player for the future. He’s one of the reasons I didn’t bring in another striker in when we sold Edin Dzeko. He deserves that chance.”

The youngster is back in the squad to face Newcastle United on Saturday after a minor injury layoff that saw him miss about two weeks of action.

Although he is yet to be capped at senior level for the Super Eagles, Iheanacho is already heading towards the legendary path, just like his mentor Nwankwo Kanu.