Why NYCFC Should Consider Potential Loan Target Kelechi Iheanacho
By Michael Schwartz
With New York City FC expected to obtain four players from Manchester City’s academy, the club should consider having U-20 Nigerian International Kelechi Iheanacho on loan.
Iheanacho trained with Manchester City’s first team on November 24th according to Stuart Brennan, the Manchester City beat reporter for the Manchester Evening News. He reported that he has a visa allowing him to train but cannot play with Manchester City due to work permit issues.
Iheanacho has been touted as a future prodigy after leading Nigeria to the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup. The 18 year-old was the U-17 World Cup final MVP and awarded the Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament. Regarded as one of the best African prospects, Iheanacho earned the 2013 Confederation of African Football’s Most Promising Talent of the Year award for partially being the second highest goal-scorer of the U-17 World Cup.
More recently, Iheanacho made a name for himself in America after excelling in Manchester City’s American summer tour. His three goals during the summer has attracted a number of European clubs interested in having him on loan.
Iheanacho is a gifted goal-scorer that has impressed with Manchester City. An extremely athletic, strong attacker with explosive abilities, Iheanacho is a composed finisher. Along with his powerful shooting and agile pace, Iheanacho also demonstrates keen vision in creating goals for others.
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Besides being a proficient forward, the Nigerian can contribute to building up goal-scoring opportunities. He seems assured with the ball at his feet, maintains possession, dribbles adeptly, and is a versatile option that can play in multiple positions. Iheanacho showed over the summer that he links up well with teammates and plays with an unexpected sense of confidence considering his age.
NYCFC has been linked with Iheanacho before as a potential loan target. Manchester City needs to decide if Iheanacho should be sent to a league that hasn’t often developed players on loan from European clubs. With several European teams interested in him including a Belgium club, City may decide that Iheanacho should build up his technical and tactical skills in Europe rather than America.
That being said, Iheanacho could be a tremendous addition for NYCFC if Manchester City decide to loan him to their American counterpart. He’s a dynamic talent that could help propel NYCFC forward in their inaugural season through linking up with Frank Lampard and David Villa.
It would be exciting to watch him develop with New York City Football Club.