Thursday Jun 24, 2021. 13:00
Nigerian legend Tijani Babangida believes Kelechi Iheanacho would have benefited from starting his career at a smaller club than Manchester City.
Super Eagles star Iheanacho enjoyed a brilliant 2020-21 season with Leicester City, having scored 19 goals across all competitions and helped the club to their first-ever FA Cup trophy.
The 24-year-old’s success reflects his talent, but Babangida believes his career would be on an even better path right now had he started his professional career at a lower-profile club like Leicester rather than Man City.
Iheanacho was snapped up by the Manchester club’s youth system after starring in the 2013 U-17 World Cup, and he made his breakthrough under manager Manuel Pellegrini in 2015-16.
However, the attacker then struggled to make an impact under new Citizens boss Pep Guardiola and was sold to Leicester in 2017.
The Nigerian has had to be patient at the King Power Stadium, but last term demonstrated that he is ready to play a leading role for the Foxes going forward.
“I think that if Kelechi Iheanacho had started with a club lower than Manchester City in terms of expectations, it would have been better for him,” Babangida told Tribal Football.
“If he had started from Leicester City when he moved to England and he did well, he would have been the talk of the town to move to Manchester United, Real Madrid or any other big clubs.
“But he started from Man City, then moved to Leicester, where he struggled at the beginning before hitting great form this past season.
“Well, if he continues to score goals, he has the potentials to play in bigger clubs. Clubs will not deny any attacker that score goals.”
Iheanacho will hope to feature strongly for Leicester in 2021-22, with the Foxes opening their campaign with a clash against his former team Man City in the Community Shield on August 7.