Guardiola's Style Hurting Iheanacho
Nigeria’s Kelechi Iheanacho is looking like a victim of the playing philosophy of his club coach Pep Guardiola and not of his own inadequacies.
Latest comments by the Spaniard indicate that Iheanacho is not getting playing time at Manchester City not because he is not good enough but because of conflicts in style.
Iheanacho has struggled for game time in recent weeks as the Nigerian has failed to play since the arrival of Gabriel Jesus and even after the Brazilian got injured, he has still failed to get game time.
The 20-year old last featured for Manchester City on January 15, coming off the bench in the 4-0 loss to Everton and the reasons behind this downtime is now clearer than ever by the latest Guardiola comments.
“Kelechi now isn’t playing for the last games. It’s a pity for him because he’s another guy -- all the African guys I train in my life always they are amazing how they are like professionals in the training sessions,” Guardiola was quoted by ESPN.
“But I like normally one striker, not two. Of course, when Sergio [Aguero] was injured, players play the game.
“But then Gabriel came and Sergio didn’t play, so the space is what it is. But it is going to happen this situation with Gabriel so Sergio can’t play all the games and, of course, he [Iheanacho] is going to help us.”
Guardiola also said Iheanacho didn’t need to impress him to get back into the team: “I know his quality,” the manager added. “I know, of course, he’s young and has a lot of things to improve – especially in winning duels and be strong in some positions.
“But he’s a guy who, in the boxes, is really good. He likes to come a little bit out of the box to play, but arriving at the right tempo and attacking the first post is amazing.“So, as a guy, he doesn’t need many, many chances to score a goal.”