Nigeria’s Super Eagles striker Kelechi Iheanacho is a year older today, October 3, 2020.
The Nigeria Football Federation and his club Leicester City have felicitated with him as he turned 24.
“Happy birthday @NGSuperEagles forward, Kelechi. Have a good one,” a statement on NFF verified Twitter account reads.
Leicester City also wrote: “Kelechi Iheanacho is 24 today. Have a good one.”
However, Kelechi celebrated his birthday with a throwback picture.
“Son of Grace.” he captioned the photo.
Iheanacho was born in the state of Imo. As a youth, he represented Taye Academy in Owerri, the capital city of Imo. His performances for Nigeria in the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup led to interest from clubs in Europe; teams following his progress included Arsenal, Sporting Clube de Portugal and Porto.
In December 2012, Iheanacho traveled to England to discuss a move to Manchester City.
He signed a pre-contract agreement with the club, stating his intent to formally sign for City on his 18th birthday in October 2014. In the interim, he returned to Nigeria. As the year drew to a close, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) named him the Most Promising Talent of the Year for 2013 at the CAF Awards.
Iheanacho joined Manchester City’s Academy on 10 January 2015.
In July 2015, Iheanacho was included in City’s pre-season tour team in Australia.
On 10 August 2015, Iheanacho was included in a first-team matchday squad for the first time in a competitive fixture.
He scored his first competitive goal on 12 September, replacing Wilfried Bony in the final minute in a match away to Crystal Palace and scoring the only goal of the game.
On 10 September 2016, Iheanacho started in the Manchester derby. He recorded an assist and his first goal of the season in a 2–1 win for City. Four days later, Iheanacho came off the bench to score the final goal in City’s 4–0 home win in the Champions League, against Borussia Mönchengladbach. This was his first European goal for Manchester City. Three days after the 4–0 win, Iheanacho scored the second goal, also assisting the third, in City’s game against Bournemouth. That goal took his tally in the Premier League to 10, allowing him to join an exclusive list of players to have scored 10 Premier League goals before the age of 20. This list includes players such as Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs, Nicolas Anelka, Michael Owen and Romelu Lukaku. In October 2016, Iheanacho was nominated for the FIFA Golden Boy award, which was eventually won by Bayern Munich’s midfielder Renato Sanches. Previous winners of the award include teammates Raheem Sterling and Sergio Agüero, and six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi.
Iheanacho’s next goal would come in the Champions League, against Celtic, in a 1–1 home draw on 6 December 2016. Iheanacho’s final goal of the season, and subsequently final goal for City, came against Huddersfield in a 5–1 FA Cup fifth-round replay win, in which Iheanacho scored the final goal of the game.
Iheanacho was signed by Premier League club Leicester City on a five-year contract on 3 August 2017