Kelechi Iheanacho has burst onto the scene very surprisingly through a Manchester City squad filled with expensive players.
The Nigerian has impressed massively with his contribution of goals as he fights for a place against one of the best strikers in the world, Sergio Aguero.
The player has scored 13 goals in 32 appearances, which is an excellent total for a 19-year-old.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
Article continues below
However, one thing about the striker's statistics tarnish the sparkle about his rise to fame, showing that he still has a lot to prove, and that we shouldn’t put too much pressure on the young man.
Seven of the 13 goals Iheanacho has scored have come in games in which City have scored four goals or more. 5-1 against Crystal Palace and 4-1 against Hull City, both in the League Cup, and a 4-0 victory against Stoke in the Premier League, over half of Iheanacho’s goals have come against sides which have been rolled over by his team.
Article continues below
Surely this is only a show of the dominance of City? If the club sat at the top of the table you'd tend to agree, however, the Manchester club have struggled this season and currently sit in fourth.
The calibre of the sides these goals come against can also be called into question. It is more likely that the goals come in games where their opposition aren’t quite up to Manchester City's standards. Of course, you can only beat what is put out in front of you, but sooner rather than later, Iheanacho will have to perform in the big games.
Another interesting point about the goals that have come in easier games is that in only one of those matches did Iheanacho notch the opening goal. Additionally, two out of the seven goals came in the first half, and four of the seven have come in the final third of the game.
What does this tell us about the player? Perhaps so far, the striker has relied on easier opposition and teams being tired out by chasing after the ball while City ping the ball around.
Iheanacho cannot call himself a top forward until he can score against any opposition and at any time.
All of this however, can’t overshadow the incredible form of the striker. At only 19, there is plenty of time for him to hone his skills. He has an excellent left foot, blistering pace, and a natural sense for where the ball will land in the box.
The future of the youngster is bright, but it is not yet time to rave about him to stop ourselves creating expectations too high for the Nigerian to reach.
Will Kelechi Iheanacho be in Pep Guardiola's plans for next season? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!