Leicester City forward, Kelechi Iheanacho, says he never believed he would play for a big club like Manchester City.
Iheanacho’s impressive performance as Nigeria won a fourth title at the 2013 U-17 World Cup in UAE, where he won the Golden Ball after seven assists and six goals – including four strikes in a group stage victory over Mexico – was a catalyst for his move to the Etihad in 2014.
Within a year of signing for the Cityzens, Iheanacho was promoted to the first team and in his debut season at the Etihad he won the League Cup.
“I didn’t believe that it was going to happen,” Iheanacho told LCFC.
“After the U-17 World Cup, I was looking at going to other teams in Europe.
“But when they said I was going to Manchester City, I was surprised and saying, ‘How can I go there to that massive team? Am I going to play?’ I said that I wouldn’t go and that they should take me to a smaller team.
“However, my father said to me that it doesn’t matter where I go, I know how to play football and that I will get through there. So, I believed in him, he blessed me and I went to Man City.”
“Gael Clichy, I called him my teacher,” Iheanacho stated.
“He’s the one who taught me how to go and get what you want and how to be tough and fight on the pitch, because he is a fighter. He never gets tired.
“He was always with me and pushing me. If he was against me (in training), he was going to kick me and say that I have to stand and fight back. I will never forget his kind words and teaching. He was my closest friend.
“Obviously, I didn’t get to play much but I was part of a big squad with brilliant players to win that. It was exciting. There were a lot of them (quality players). Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri, Jesus Navas, David Silva and Vincent Kompany, who always talked to me and gave me advice.”
The 26-year-old scored 21 goals in 64 games for Man City before joining Leicester City in 2017.