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Kelechi Iheanacho was stopped from joining Arsenal

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Kelechi Iheanacho was one of the most promising young stars to breakthrough in the Premier League last season.

Another exciting teenager from across Manchester may have stolen most of the headlines but the rise of Iheanacho would have been equally impressive for the Etihad faithful.

The Nigerian first shot onto the scene at the 2013 under-17 World Cup but before he joined Man City in January of the following year, Iheanacho was very nearly poached by Arsenal.

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Two years on and Iheanacho's coach at Taye Academy, Kennedy Ezenwere, has revealed the role he played in encouraging the striker to move to Manchester rather than north London.

The Gunners were very keen to sign the now 19-year-old, however, it was actually Ezenwere who thwarted the move.

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"Arsenal were interested in Kelechi but I blocked the move, there was a problem with the agent brokering the deal," Ezenwere told All Nigeria Soccer.

"I picked Manchester City ahead of Arsenal not because of money. I know if he goes to Man City he has a better chance of playing there than Arsenal and I have been proved right."

"Kelechi has now become very popular, it wouldn't have been so if he joined Arsenal."

Iheanacho scored 14 goals in all competitions last term and was often preferred over Wilfried Bony as City's backup striking option behind Sergio Aguero.

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN CITY-CRYSTAL PALACE

Arsene Wenger has been on the hunt for a new striker all summer and must now be feeling even more frustrated with Ezenwere's intervention two years ago.

The extended break given to Olivier Giroud after Euro 2016 has meant he will not be fit to face Liverpool in the Gunners' opening game of the campaign. Add that to Danny Welbeck's injury problems and Wenger is left with Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Chuba Akpom as the main contenders to lead the line.

Borussia Dortmund v Manchester City - 2016 International Championship Cup China

To rub salt in the wounds, Iheanacho scored against Arsenal on Sunday evening in Man City's final pre-season friendly leaving Wenger to ponder what could have been.

The Arsenal boss can take some consolation from winning the game 3-2 but most Gunners fans will still be feeling apprehensive about their side's chances this season.

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Topics:
Kelechi Iheanacho
Football
Premier League
Arsene Wenger
Manchester City
Sergio Aguero
Arsenal

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