Outgoing Manchester City Manager Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed that Nigerian teenager, Kelechi Iheanacho will be in the club’s squad for the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League.
Iheanacho was oustanding in city’s FA Cup fourth round game against Aston Villa at the weekend, where the 19-year-old Nigerian, restricted mainly to substitute appearances this season, put City ahead from close range after four minutes, converted a penalty after 24 minutes and raced clear to complete his haul late on before Raheem Sterling also got his name on the scoresheet.
City, who are second in the Premier League and in the League Cup final, have to submit any amendments to their Champions League squad to UEFA on Monday ahead of their round of 16 against Dynamo Kiev.
Pellegrini said at a press conference on Monday that he has considered drafting Iheanacho, who won 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup for Nigeria in United Arab Emirates (UAE) to his City’s squad.
The club’s website tweeted the quotes of Manager Pellegrini as the press conference was ongoing, saying: “It’s important to bring young players into the team but they must be good players so that we continue to compete.
“We need Kelechi now as Bony is injured too. We couldn’t take the risk to go into the last 16 game with just Kun.
“Kelechi will be in the UCL squad. I told Nasri I would take him out as he needs two months more to be fit.
“It’s just a kick in Fabian’s calf – it’s not serious. We have to play again on Saturday so I don’t want to take the risk.
“Kolarov is fit. Fabian Delph has a small problem from the last game so he’s not on the squad list.
“The injuries are the same names with Kompany, Mangala, Samir Nasri, De Bruyne and Bony.”