Former Super Eagles defender and Chelsea legender Celestine Babayaro says Manchester City teen star Kelechi Iheanacho, has played himself into the class of talented teens like Anthony Martial, Dele Alli and Marco Asensio.
Babayaro fresh from the burial of his late mother told Owngoalnigeria.com that comparing him Iheanacho with Marcus Rashford of Manchester United is an opinion based thing. But to him the Nigerian has long left that class.
Iheanacho has enhanced his profile with three goals in his last three games. Scoring for Nigeria in the AFCON 2017
qualifiers against Tanzania before another goal in the Manchester Derby, which he has now bettered by his first strike in the Champions League to round up a 4-0 win for Manchester City over Borussia Monchengladbach.
His form has got many comparing him to another teen prospect in Manchester United Marcus Rashford, but Babayaro who spent 8 seasons at Chelsea says he deserves a higher mention than that.
” No, the only thing they have in common is that they both came through at around same time but Iheanacho is in the class of Anthony Martial not Rashford, just like Real Madrid Asensio and Dele Alli of Spurs. They are youngster who are highly respected by first team players and the manager. Rashford is not there yet”. He said to Owngoalnigeria.com.
” You have to look at his rise. Iheanacho moved two steps before finally getting the breakthrough at Manchester City, by that I mean from Under-17 to 20 before finally getting his chance with the first team.
” I am someone who left Nigeria around same age as Iheanacho for a career abroad and the numerous battles the young man has fought and won can’t be concluded by mentions. He has succeeded in conquering the weather, culture, lifestyle, beliefs and even feeding.
” You think it’s easy for an Africa teen to be so highly regarded in Europe where they have over hundreds in their youth set up?, Have a rethink when you compare him to Rashford who has faced little or none of what he has conquered”.