Having made only 5 first team starts in his total of 14 appearances in the Premier League, Kelechi Iheanacho is frustrated from lack of game time at Manchester City. Reports have linked the young striker with a move away from the Citizens this season, with West Ham United being one of the front-runners vying for the Nigerian’s signature.
The Nigerian’s present contract status ties him to the Manchester Blues till 2021. The star who had seen a meteoric rise last year has surprisingly found himself mostly on the bench this season. Although the market value for the Nigerian is around €10m, City are set to put a price tag of €23m (or £20m) on the player.
Reports state that Pep is looking to sign Arsenal heavyweight Sanchez in the summer and the money acquired from the sale of Iheanacho would be used to further accelerate the process.
The Youngster showed much promise when he made his first Premier League appearance against Watford in 2015 and who could forget the famous hat-trick against Aston Villa in the FA Cup. Let’s take look at the stats of the young player:-
- Although the player had a short stint with the Blues this season, he has still managed to showcase his potential and quality with 4 goals and 3 assists.
- Standing at 6ft tall, he provides both physical and aerial threat to opponents in the box. The player’s physical awareness was seen against Manchester United at Old Trafford where the Nigerian not only scored but also provided the assist which saw them win 2-1.
- Maintaining a pass success percentage of almost 77 and providing the team with 13 key passes, he has proven that he has got it inside him to provide impact to any team he plays with.
- The Player also possess defensive skills having 6 tackles and 11 blocked shots to his name. (Stats courtesy: whoscored)
It does not come as a shock seeing the stats above that the young Nigerian would be desperate for more first team action. Safe to say, Bilic’s interest in Iheanacho is much justified.
What he’ll bring to the Club?
Slaven Bilic has been tormented this season with injuries to his forwards Carroll and Sakho which saw them miss major game time. On top of that, the forced exit of Payet has made it a really difficult season for him. Seeing the circumstance, Iheanacho would be an ideal addition to the squad. The Nigerian with his bag of skills, vision and creativity up front might provide the edge that Bilic had been missing from his forwards this season. Also being only a 20-year old, not only would he provide with some young blood in the frontline but also he might be a long-term prospect for the club. Having a towering physical presence and awareness, he would form an ideal partnership with either Carroll or Sakho.
Worth the Money?
Costing only £20m(or €23m) most pundits would agree that it would be a bargain of a buy for any club. With the skills that the youngster possess, Iheanacho is more than worth the money. It would be a top acquisition for Bilic and his men if they manage to land this young talent at West Ham United.