With the depleted Citizens travelling to the Hawthorns, could Manuel Pellegrini be set to hand the Nigerian youngster a long–awaited first top flight cap?
Nigeria youth international, Kelechi Iheanacho could make his English Premier League debut for Manchester City against West Bromwich Albion next week.
The Citizens travel to the Hawthorns on Monday, August 10, for their season opener without certainty in their attacking line up.
Manchester City’s late collapse last season saw Chelsea win their second title in six seasons but Pellegrini is in a dilemma with his team looking unsettled ahead of the season’s kick-off.
And Iheanacho, who has had a fantastic pre-season campaign with the Etihad giants, may be given the all-clear to face Tony Pulis’s side.
Stevan Jovetic’s exit and the impending departure of Edin Dzeko to Roma means City could be down to just two senior strikers in Sergio Aguero and Wilfried Bony.
However, Bony featured for just 45 minutes of pre-season action after illness kept him out of the club’s tour to Australia and Vietnam.
And Pellegrini has indicated Aguero won’t be ready for the trip to the West Midlands after getting extra time off to recuperate from Argentina’s Copa America campaign where they reached the final. He has only had a few days of pre-season training.
Should the Chilean tactician stick to that plan – and decides Bony needs more time as well – Iheanacho who featured in five pre-season games and provided two goals and two assists could find himself thrust into action.
Iheanacho also seems to have bonded well with new summer signing Raheem Sterling, which could strenghten his case for a starter’s shirt.
It could just be what the lad needs to draw the attention of Nigeria coach Sunday Oliseh into handing him a senior team call up ahead of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Tanzania on September 5 in Dar es Salaam.