Kelechi Promise Iheanacho (Igbo: [ɪ̙ɦeanãtʃɔ̙];[needs tone] born 3 October 1996) is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Premier League club Leicester City and the Nigeria national team. He has made appearances for Manchester City, as well as the Nigeria squad that won the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup and the Nigeria U-20 team at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Iheanacho was called up to the Manchester City senior squad for the 2015–16 season.
Iheanacho playing for Manchester City in 2015
|Full name||Kelechi Promise Iheanacho|
|Date of birth||3 October 1996|
|Place of birth||Imo, Nigeria|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:56, 6 May 2019 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 20:21, 20 November 2018 (UTC)
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 travelled 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 2014. Before the 2014–15 season, City visited the United States on a pre-season tour, and although still not formally a City player, he joined up with the squad. He played and scored in the first match of the tour, a 4–1 win against Sporting Kansas City, and scored again against Milan in a 5–1 win. After the conclusion of the tour, Manchester City arranged for Iheanacho to train with the Columbus Crew until mid-October.
Delays in obtaining a work permit meant Iheanacho was unable to play in England until February 2015. He made his debut at under-19 level in a UEFA Youth League match against Schalke 04, but sustained an injury after only 11 minutes. After his recovery, he began to represent Manchester City at both youth and under-21 level in the latter part of the season. He played in the FA Youth Cup final, where he scored, but ended on the losing side after Chelsea claimed a 5–2 aggregate victory. The following week, he scored the only goal as Manchester City beat Porto in the final of the 2014–15 Premier League International Cup.
In July 2015, Iheanacho was included in City's pre-season tour team in Australia. On the tour, he set up the first goal for Raheem Sterling and scored the second goal in the win against Roma in the 2015 International Champions Cup. He also set up Sterling for the fourth goal in City's 8–1 victory against the Vietnam national team. In City's last preseason game, against VfB Stuttgart, he came on as a substitute, scoring late on in a 4–2 defeat. Due to his impressive pre-season, Iheanacho was promoted to the Manchester City senior squad.
On 10 August 2015, Iheanacho was included in a first-team matchday squad for the first time in a competitive fixture, however he remained an unused substitute in their 3–0 win at West Bromwich Albion in their first game of the Premier League season. Nineteen days later, he made his competitive debut, replacing Raheem Sterling for the final minute of a 2–0 win against Watford at the City of Manchester Stadium. 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.
Iheanacho scored his first career hat-trick on 30 January 2016 against Aston Villa in the fourth round of the FA Cup, also setting up City's fourth goal, scored by Raheem Sterling. The following month, he was put in City's UEFA Champions League squad at the expense of the injured Samir Nasri. During February, Iheanacho scored against Tottenham Hotspur in a 2–1 home defeat for City.
Iheanacho's next goals came on 23 April 2016, where he scored twice against Stoke City in a 4–0 victory. He followed this up with a Champions League semi-final substitute appearance on 26 April 2016. Five days later, on 1 May 2016, he scored two again, albeit in a 4–2 defeat at the hands of Southampton.
 Iheanacho ended the 2015–16 season with eight Premier League goals and had the best goals-per-minute ratio of any player averaging, a goal every 93.9 minutes. In all competitions he finished with a record of 14 goals and 5 assists from 35 appearances, although he only started 11 of these games. His goals total also meant he ended the season as City's third-highest scorer.
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 five-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, for a reported £25 million fee. He made his debut for the club in a 4–3 defeat to Arsenal on 11 August 2017. He scored his first goal for Leicester in an EFL Cup tie against Leeds United on 24 October 2017. On 16 January 2018, Iheanacho became the first player in English football to be awarded a goal due to VAR, as the referee deemed that the player had been incorrectly ruled offside for his second goal. The goal was Iheanacho's second in a 2–0 win over Fleetwood Town in the FA Cup Third Round replay.
Iheanacho has represented Nigeria at youth levels from under-13 upwards. His first experience of a major international tournament was the 2013 African U-17 Championship in Morocco. For Iheanacho, the highlight was a hat-trick in a win against Botswana. He dedicated his goals to his mother, who died two months before the tournament. Nigeria reached the final of the competition, where they were defeated on penalties by the Ivory Coast.
Iheanacho played a significant role in the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup, where he won the Golden Ball award for player of the tournament. Nigeria won the competition, in which Iheanacho scored six times, including once in the final, and provided seven assists. In the run-up to the 2014 African Nations Championship, Iheanacho trained with the senior Nigeria squad but was released from the squad in order to travel to England to sign with Manchester City. He was part of the Nigeria squad for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand, and featured in two matches.
Iheanacho made his senior debut as a substitute in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Swaziland in which Nigeria drew 0–0. His first start for the senior team was on 25 March 2016, a 1–1 draw with Egypt in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match.
His performance in the friendly matches inspired further confidence within football circles in the nation and was invited to make his competitive debut against Egypt in an African Cup of Nations qualifying series where he provided an assist for Oghenekaro Etebo in the home game.
Despite the change made in the coaching personnel in August this year, he distinguished himself again as one of the most important players in the team when he scored two super goals in the two matches against Tanzania in Uyo and Zambia in Ndola.
In May 2018 he was named in Nigeria’s preliminary 30 man squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.He was invited by the national team coach as part of the squad to face Ukraine in a September 10, 2019 friendly
- As of end of 2018-2019 season
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other||Total|
|Manchester City||2015–16||Premier League||26||8||3||4||2||2||4||0||—||35||14|
|Leicester City||2017–18||Premier League||21||3||5||4||2||1||—||—||28||8|
- As of match played 20 November 2018
- As of match played 20 November 2018. Nigeria score listed first, score column indicates score after each Iheanacho goal.
|1||27 May 2016||Stade Robert Diochon, Rouen, France||Mali||1–0||1–0||Friendly|
|2||31 May 2016||Stade Josy Barthel, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg||Luxembourg||2–0||3–1|
|3||3 September 2016||Akwa Ibom Stadium, Uyo, Nigeria||Tanzania||1–0||1–0||2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification|
|4||9 October 2016||Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, Ndola, Zambia||Zambia||2–0||2–1||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|5||23 March 2017||The Hive Stadium, London, England||Senegal||1–1||1–1||Friendly|
|6||1 June 2017||Stade Municipal de Saint Leu La Foret, Saint-Leu-la-Forêt, France||Togo||3–0||3–0|
|7||1 September 2017||Akwa Ibom Stadium, Uyo, Nigeria||Cameroon||4–0||4–0||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|8||14 November 2017||Krasnodar Stadium, Krasnodar, Russia||Argentina||1–2||4–2||Friendly|
- "2018 FIFA World Cup Russia: List of players: Nigeria" (PDF). FIFA. 20 June 2018. p. 19. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
- "Iheanacho: Kelechi Promise Iheanacho: Player". BDFutbol. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
- "Kelechi Iheanacho". Leicester City F.C. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
- "Kelechi Iheanacho scores brace in Manchester United U21 defeat". Goal.com.
- Leadership Newspaper (29 May 2015). "U-20 World Cup Beginning of Great Things For Iheanacho – Father". Nigerian News from Leadership News. Archived from the original on 18 June 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Kelechi Iheanacho arrive in New Zealand for U20 World Cup". Goal.com. Archived from the original on 29 May 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Iheanacho in City's first team squad next season". Football. Archived from the original on 18 June 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Rob Pollard. "Why Kelechi Iheanacho Will Be the Next Star to Come Through Man City's Academy". Bleacher Report.
- Adrian Back (11 November 2013). "Nigeria win Under-17 World Cup". International Business Times. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- "Man City set to miss out on Nigerian wonderkid". Talksport. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- "Transfer news: Manchester City deal for Kelechi Iheanacho claimed". Sky Sports. 10 January 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- "Iheanacho named most promising talent". Confederation of African Football. 9 January 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- Paul Handler (26 July 2014). "City profile: Kelechi Iheanacho". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- "Jovetic strikes twice, Nigeria's Kelechi Iheanacho nets and Man City thump AC Milan". The National. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- Adam Jardy (3 September 2014). "Young Manchester City Striker Kelechi Iheanacho Training With Crew". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- "Manchester City Striker Kelechi Iheanacho Starts Individual Training". SL10. 14 April 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- "Chelsea retain FA Youth Cup with victory against Manchester City". The Guardian. 27 April 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- "Manchester City EDS v Porto: International Premier League Cup match report". Manchester City F.C. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
- "Man City News – Manchester City FC Transfers, Injury Updates, Match reports and Interviews". Manchester City F.C.
- "Roma vs. Manchester City – 21 July 2015 – Soccerway". Soccerway. Perform Group. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
- Sanghera, Mandeep (10 August 2015). "West Brom 0–3 Man City". Retrieved 26 August 2015.
- Bevan, Chris (29 August 2015). "Man City 2–0 Watford". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
- Cryer, Andy (12 September 2015). "Crystal Palace 0–1 Man City". BBC Sport. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
- "Aston Villa 0–4 Man City". BBC Sport. 30 January 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
- "Radamel Falcao: Chelsea striker dropped from Champions League squad". BBC Sport. 3 February 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- "Manchester City 1–2 Tottenham Hotspur". BBC Sport. 14 February 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
- "Manchester City 4–0 Stoke City". BBC Sport. 23 April 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
- "Manchester City 0–0 Real Madrid". BBC Sport. 26 April 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
- "Southampton 4–2 Manchester City". BBC Sport. 1 May 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
- "Kelechi Iheanacho stat sums up wonderkid's class". 11 September 2016. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
- "2015–16 English Premier League Player Standard Stats – Goals". Fox Sports.
- "Nigeria – K. Iheanacho – Profile with news, career statistics and history". Soccerway.
- "Iheanacho Third Highest Scorer Man City". Retrieved 6 August 2016.
- "Iheanacho pleased with derby heroics". supersport.com. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
- "Manchester City 4–0 B M'gladbach". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
- "Manchester City 4–0 Bournemouth". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
- "Iheanacho joins select teenage club". Retrieved 25 September 2016.
- "Manchester City 1–1 Celtic". BBC Sport. 6 December 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
- "Manchester City 5-1 Huddersfield Town". 1 March 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
- "Leicester City Sign Striker Kelechi Iheanacho". Leicester City F.C. 3 August 2017. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
- Udoh, Colin. "Kelechi Iheanacho completes £25 million Leicester switch – sources". ESPN. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
- "Arsenal 4–3 Leicester City". BBC Sport. 11 August 2017. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
- "Leicester 3–1 Leeds". BBC. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
- Farrel, Dom (16 January 2018). "First VAR Goal in English Football Scored By Kelechi Iheanacho". goal.com. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- "The players representing the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria". Kick Off magazine. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- "Iheanacho dedicates hat-trick to late mum". Super Sport. 21 April 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- "2013 African U-17 Championship". BBC Sport. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- "Golden Eaglets soar to fourth crown". FIFA. Archived from the original on 21 July 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Nigeria win Under-17 World Cup". BBC. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- "Kelechi Iheanacho is set for a move to England according to Stephen Keshi". Sky Sports. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- "Kelechi Iheanacho". FIFA. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- Oluwashina Okeleji (24 June 2016). "Kelechi Iheanacho included in Nigeria's Olympics squad". BBC Sport. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
- "Swaziland hold Eagles to a draw". supersport.com/. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
- "Nigeria 1 – 1 Egypt Match report – 3/25/16 Africa Cup of Nations Qualification". goal.com. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
- "Luxembourg 1 – 3 Nigeria Match report – 5/31/16 Friendlies". goal.com.
- "Iheanacho scores as Super Eagles beat Mali in France – Premium Times Nigeria". 27 May 2016.
- "Nigeria 1 – 1 Egypt Match report – 3/25/16 Africa Cup of Nations Qualification". goal.com.
- "Nigeria 1 – 0 Tanzania Match report – 9/3/16 Africa Cup of Nations Qualification". goal.com.
- "Revealed: Every World Cup 2018 squad - 23-man & preliminary lists & when will they be announced? - Goal.com".
- "Kelechi Iheanacho profile". Soccerway. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
- "Games played by Kelechi Iheanacho in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
- "Games played by Kelechi Iheanacho in 2016/2017". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
- "Kelechi Iheanacho | Football Stats | Leicester City | Season 2017/2018 | Soccer Base". www.soccerbase.com. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
- "Games played by Kelechi Iheanacho in 2018/2019". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
- "Games played by Kelechi Iheanacho in 2019/2020". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
- "Iheanacho, Kelechi". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
- Kelechi Iheanacho at Soccerway
- McNulty, Phil (28 February 2016). "Liverpool 1–1 Manchester City". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
- "Summary – U17 World Cup – World – Results, fixtures, tables and news". Soccerway. Perform Group. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
- "FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 – Awards". FIFA. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- "CAF – CAF Awards – Previous Editions – 2013". CAFOnline. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- "CAF – CAF Awards – Previous Editions – 2016". CAFOnline. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
- Adeoye, Aanu (1 February 2016). "Man City's Iheanacho looks set to become the next superstar created by Guardiola". Squawka. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
- Tudor, Stephen (11 January 2018). "The strange, swift and miserable decline of Kelechi Iheanacho". TIFO. Retrieved 6 January 2019.