Leicester City attacker, Kelechi Iheanacho has cast his kind back to his days with Manchester City, where he says playing alongside former Arsenal icon, Gael Clichy provided him with a solid foundation he needed for his career abroad, megasportsarena.com reports.
Iheanacho joined City few months after emerging most valuable player at the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup, wher e he helped Nigeria win the gold medal in United Arab Emirates by becoming the second Golden Eaglets’ player to score four goals in one match.
He made the move to Etihad Stadium despite earlier interest from Arsenal and, though The Citizens soon loaned him to Columbus Crew of America, he returned a year later to settle down fully into the main team and has now disclosed that watching Clichy and listening to sound advice from the French left-back helped him a lot.
As he recollected his early days in England, the Taye Football Academy of Owerri product also recalled that, after signing for Man City in 2013, the deal was held up for more than a year by to work permit issues and because he had not yet attained the age of maturity for a full contract.
He admitted that the hurdles he faced back then affected him mentally and psychologically, hence the soothing solace he found from having Clichy as a mentor to count on, and the Super Eagles’ star has now gone on to thank the French ace for assisting him make a splash in his debut season in England with City, as he went on to score 14 goals in all competitions.
The Foxes’ ace has now cast his mind back to how Clichy helped him break the ice and get over the initial setback, as he stated in an Instagram Live chat with ace comedian, Funny Bone, that he felt relieved to have a senior player guide him at the start of his career abroad,
Iheanacho stated: “This one is so dear to my heart, Gael Clichy, the French guy, he’s like my teacher on the pitch, in the training, outside the pitch, anywhere. I will mention his name anywhere I go, he’s so dear to my heart.”