Manchester City’s Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho (L) celebrates with Manchester City’s German midfielder Leroy Sane (R) after scoring their first goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Southampton at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on October 23, 2016. PHOTO: Oli SCARFF / AFP
Kelechi Iheanacho’s lack of game time at Manchester City is a form of betrayal by manager, Pep Guardiola, according to coach Manu Garba, the former Nigeria U-17 coach, who gave Iheanacho his breakthrough at the 2013 World Youth Championship.
Iheanacho has missed the last seven games of Manchester City. He failed to make the matchday squad on five occasions and was twice left on the bench by Guardiola.
Even the injury to Gabriel Jesus hasn’t worked in his favour as many speculated and Garba believes the 20-year-old has not been fairly treated by the manager.
“He (Iheanacho) pulled out of the Nigerian team to the last Olympics in Rio on the orders of Guardiola, who also made the club sign an extension with him. Fast forward June to this day and he can’t get into the team,” Manu told Owngoalnigeria.com.
“It’s normal for him to feel betrayed by the man, who made him sacrifice the chance to play at the Olympics with Nigeria. He is a good lad and will definitely prove people wrong in the future.”
Iheanacho was listed among the reserves in Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League game against Monaco, but he never made it off the bench. Guardiola preferred Jesus Navas and Fernando when he needed goals in the game against Monaco.