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Garba still banks on Iheanacho for African Youth Championship


CONTRARY to reports that Manchester City have been frustrating the efforts of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to get former U-17 star, Kelechi Iheanacho, to join the Flying Eagles team in camp ahead of the Senegal 2015 African Youth Championship, the club has expressed its readiness to release the lad when he recovers from his knee injury.

  Under-20 coach, Manu Garba, disclosed at the weekend that he has been in communication with Iheanacho’s club, stressing that the player is down with a knee injury.

 He, however, insisted that Iheanacho will play himself into the team when he joins the team in Gambia, noting that there would be no automatic shirt for any player.

  Speaking after the Flying Eagles’ 2-0 defeat of Enyimba at the on-going Glo Super Six Championship, Garba said, “For now, we are not yet ready for Senegal. We will perfect our skills when we move into a closed camp in Gambia before the AYC.

  “Definitely, Iheanacho is a player who can add value to this team. But at present he has an ankle injury, they just removed the POP the day before yesterday. An official of Manchester City called me yesterday to protest that they have been reading condemning reports from Nigeria that City was not ready to release him. He noted that Kelechi is down with injury, adding that we can invite him to the U20 team as soon as he recovers fully from his injury.

  “We need him in the team because he is a player who could have converted most of these chances we lost today. So he is valuable for this team.”

 Garba revealed that the team was also still expecting Spain-based Isaac Success, adding, “we are fighting for his release. Also our best central defender, Wilfred Ndidi, who has just signed a contract in Belgium will soon join the team. So my major worry is the defence and not the attack.”

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