Super Eagles and Manchester City sensation Kelechi Iheanacho grabs this one for his scintillating display which culminated in the fantastic lone goal he scored in the AFCON 2017 qualifying match against Tanzania on Saturday (yesterday) though a ‘dead rubber’ game.
It was his third goal in three matches following the ones he scored in the friendlies against Mali and Luxembourg at the end of May.
The youngster who is fast becoming a mainstay in the star-studded Man City line-up shone like a million stars playing the ‘hole’ position, dribbling the resilient Tanzanian defence repeatedly, stringing an array of intelligent, splitting passes which were not always utilized by the front three thereby underlining the team’s major problem right now – poor marksmanship.
He probably would have gotten the man-of-the-match award. Not sure yet.
Kelechi, since the Korea 2013 U-17 FIFA World Cup in which he emerged the MVP and led Nigeria’s golden Eaglets to win, has grown in leaps and bounds showing he is a player with a big heart. In his first season with Man City, despite coming in as a substitute with little time left in the matches he featured, he notched up 14 goals in less than 30 games, so impressive for a youngster of his age giving limited playing opportunities.
So blessed with an ability to read the game and dictate play, as well as a knack for scoring goals and then creating chances for team-mates despite his miniature looks. Little wonder he is rated among the world’s next generation of young footballers to watch; little wonder he just displaced Mikel Obi as the highest earning Nigerian player in the English Premier League with GBP85k/week.
To the ‘next big thing’ in Nigerian football – and probably African football – CAB says thumbs up and don’t let all these get into your head, and, subsequently get the better of uuuu…