Flying Eagles star Kelechi Iheanacho says he is determined to move up quickly to the Manchester City senior squad after impressing for the youth teams.
The 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup best playertold the Manchester Evening News of his desire to fight the likes of Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko for shirt and wants his elevation to be as soon as possible.
"I can't wait," he said and he was not brash about his chances.
He exhales hard when it is suggested there may be a connection between his appearances for the Under-21s and Manuel Pellegrini coming to watch the side, as if it may overwhelm him.
"I don't know," he professed.
"Maybe the coach likes the way I play and the way I do things, maybe I have to put in more and work on the things they want me to do on the pitch.
"I hope he sees good qualities in me and I hope I will be in the first team soon."
Iheanacho featured for City last summer on their pre-season tour.
Iheanacho first caught Pellegrini's eye on the first-team summer tour last year, scoring against AC Milan and turning in performances that left the coach impressed.
"Kelechi is just 17 years old and he’s a very important player for us in the future," the boss said at the time. "It depends on the way he takes this profession, but I think he’s a good talent."
An explosive start to life at City soon fizzled out. Work permit regulations forced the 18-year-old to keep his fitness at MLS side Columbus Crew. When he did arrive in Manchester, he was injured ten minutes into the UEFA Youth League game with Schalke in February.
Since his return Iheanacho has made his mark, scoring three in four games, including goals in both of the finals he has played in.
On top of those strikes the left-footed forward has stood out for his general play.
From his pace and ability to hold his own and beat defenders, to showing a striker's frustration whenever a run and potential chance isn't spotted by team-mates, the teenager makes things happen on the pitch.
His performances have earned comparisons to a young Daniel Sturridge, but the teenager is cautious about overplaying the link, and is just happy to be over his injuries.
"Maybe similar but I think every player has their own style of play," he told Manchester Evening News Sport.
"It's been a hard year but players have injuries and they recover. I'm grateful that I'm fully fit now to help City.
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