Assistant coach of the Flying Eagles Nduka Ugbade has opined that in-form Manchester City forward Kelechi Iheanachois not a ‘finished article’ despite his recent exploits in England.
The 19-year-old who was recently drafted into the Citizens UEFA Champions League squad at the expense of former Arsenal midfielder Sami Nasri netted his first hat-trick for the club in the fourth round of the FA Cup against Aston Villa and has been tipped to become one of City’s best players.
However, Ugbade says that the youngster needs more time to reach such level but believes that he has the ability to achieve even more.
‘He is not a finished article yet,’ Ugbade exclusively told 366football.com. ‘There is a difference between acquiring education and using it. Developing experience in what you are doing brings you to knowledge.
‘When he (Iheanacho) becomes more experienced and gets more comfortable inside that environment of competitiveness, he will then do a lot better.’
Ugbade was part of the Manu Garba led technical crew alongside Emmanuel Amunike, and Emeka Amadi that guided Iheanacho and co to win the FIFA U-17 World Cup back in 2013 and he is hopeful that the same group of players can help Nigeria become football greats again.
‘We should all remember that Iheanacho is still a small boy but thank God for the soccer education given to him here (Nigeria), he is able to play at such a high level and deliver for a top team like Manchester City.
‘But you know that the play in the national team is not the job for an individual. That is why I’m happy for the progress of the 2013 U-17 squad. Taiwo Awoniyi is doing well, so also is Wilfred Ndidi, Moses Simon and many others – all of whom went through us.
‘When we gather them in the future, doing well in major competitions becomes a lot easier because they already have great synergy together.’
Iheanacho was part of Manchester City’s 3-1 loss to premier league leaders Leicester City at the Etihad today.