Manchester City’s Elite Development Squad (EDS) coach, Simon Davies has moved to explain the reason behind the inclusion of Kelechi Iheanacho in the Under-21 side that defeated Southampton 3-1 at the Academy Stadium on Monday night.
Iheanacho was impressive, a force of nature, as his involvement in all three of City’s three goals condemned the Saints to a heavy defeat.
Davies says the inclusion of Iheanacho in the side he last played for in May (eight months ago) should not be seen as a surprise move.
“I think it is important that they’re in the first-team squad.
“They’re training really well daily. Kelechi has been getting his moments with the first team as well and scoring goals.
“The manager really wants to make sure that when they get an option to get some minutes under the belt it’s good to do so, so that when they get the chance to keep that shirt in the first team they’re prepared.
“This was one of the only times that we’ve had recently – because we’ve got a break from Swansea on Saturday to Arsenal a week on Monday – where the manager has had an opportunity to say go and play some minutes.
“They (Iheanacho and fellow first team starlet, Patrick Roberts) both did well, they both worked hard and I think they’ll benefit for that,” Davies was quoted as saying on Manchester Evening News.
He rounded off by saluting the young Nigerian’s virtuoso display on Monday night.
“Kelechi was fantastic. He didn’t get his goal unfortunately but it will be good for everybody if he keeps getting them for the first team.
“He worked really, really hard and that’s going to be only good for himself and the club,” he said.
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