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Published On: Tue, Oct 28th, 2014

I will build my team round Iheanacho, says Siasia

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Samson SiasiaBy Albert Akota

The U-23 coach Samson Siasia has confirmed that his next Olympic team will be built around Manchester City youngster Kelechi Iheanacho.

Siasia has also given a contrasting view on Iheanacho to that of former Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi who believed the 18-year-old was too young and inexperienced.

Siasia praised the talents of Iheanacho and says the Flying Eagles star will definitely be a part of his team.

“Of course, definitely he will be (part of the team). You know it’s not about the age anymore it’s about what you can do as a player,” said Siasia.

“If Raheem Sterling can play for the national team at 17 and has been playing well there, but they might as well have invited him to the U20 or U21’s but it’s what that young player can give.

“Look at the South African team now, most of their players are young players and that’s what we’re looking at trying to build a strong team with.”

There has been a debate whether Kelechi Iheanacho deserves a call to the Super Eagles, but Siasia, a former Super Eagles coach himself, has wasted no time in confirming that Iheanacho will be a part of his U23 team.

The former Flying Eagles coach also praised Iheanacho’s talent describing it as outstanding, saying it is hard to miss such a talent.

“During the U17’s, I think he was the player that caught my eye. He was very outstanding and I don’t see why anybody will miss him,” added Siasia.

“He was doing well for his club in Europe before he went to America and I think he’s one of the future stars we have in Nigeria.”

Iheanacho and majority of his teammates from the 2013 U17’s are expected to form the bedrock of the next Olympic team, and also the Super Eagles’ team to go to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.


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